Google Goggles

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Google Goggles
Google Goggles logo
Developer(s) Google
Development status Active
Operating system Android, iOS
Size 1.12 MB

Google Goggles is a downloadable image recognition application created by Google which can currently be found on the Mobile Apps page of Google Mobile.[1] It is used for searches based on pictures taken by handheld devices. For example, taking a picture of a famous landmark would search for information about it, or taking a picture of a product's barcode will search for information on the product.[2]


Google Goggles was developed for use on Google's Android operating systems for mobile devices. While initially only available in a beta version for Android phones, Google announced its plans to enable the software to run on other platforms, notably iPhone and BlackBerry devices.[3] Google has not discussed a non-handheld format. On 5 October 2010, Google announced availability of Google Goggles for iPhone and iPad devices running iOS 4.0.[4]


Currently the system can identify various labels or landmarks, allowing users to learn about such items without needing a text-based search. The system can identify products barcodes or labels that allow users to search for similar products and prices, and save codes for future reference, similar to the failed CueCat of the late '90s, but with more functionality.[2][not in citation given] The system will also recognize printed text and use optical character recognition (OCR) to produce a text snippet, and in some cases even translate the snippet into another language.[2]

Metropolitan Museum of Art[edit]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced in December 2011 its collaboration with Google to use Google Goggles for providing information about the artworks in the museum through direct links to the website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[5]

Current version[edit]

As of August 2012, the current version of Google Goggles is 1.9[6] which adds several new features and improves both quality and ease of use. Goggles is specifically developed to run on mobile devices running the Android operating system and can be installed using Google Play (formerly Android Market).[2]

Although developed for Android there is now also an iPhone version, as part of the Google Search app, available from the iTunes Store or App Store. Goggles requires iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 on[7] iOS 4.0 or higher to run.[2] In January 2011, version 1.3 was released; it can solve Sudoku puzzles.[8]

In late August 2012, Google launched an update to its Google Goggles app, version 1.9. This update puts an emphasis on helping users shop by including improved product recognition and new recommendations that help users browse similar products.[9]

Earlier versions of Android app were able to load pictures from the phone's gallery, which has been removed in version 1.9.2; however, it can be worked around by sharing the image to the Googles app from a file browser.


Google product manager Shailesh Nalawadi indicated that Google wants Goggles to be an application platform, much like Google Maps, not just a single product. They are currently[when?] working on developing an API for Goggles, once they determine what shape it should take. They are currently[when?] discussing API ideas with outside developers.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Google Mobile
  2. ^ a b c d e Google mobile: Mainpage on Google Goggles, visited 8 December 2010
  3. ^ PCWorld: Goggles will reach other platforms
  4. ^ "Open your eyes: Google Goggles now available on iPhone in Google Mobile App". Google Mobile Blog. October 5, 2010. 
  5. ^ Metropolitan Museum Enhances Online Access to Its Collections with Google Goggles. New York, December 16, 2011; Thomas P. Campbell: Google Goggles (New York, December 16, 2011): I'm pleased to announce a new collaboration with Google that lets you take a picture of a work of art with your mobile device and link straight to more information on
  6. ^ Google Goggles Release Notes, visited 13 June 2011
  7. ^ "Google Help". Retrieved 2013-06-16. 
  8. ^ T3 website: Goggles can now solve sudoku puzzles, 11 January 2011. Visited 6 August 2011
  9. ^ Weber, Harrison. August 23, 2012. "Google Goggles’ latest update makes it easier to shop IRL"
  10. ^ Google Goggles to Become App Platform from (April 14, 2010)

External links[edit]