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Google Goggles hands-on photos: Search with images on your Android phone

Have trouble typing or recognising cans of spray cheese? The Google Goggles app takes the guesswork out of using your eyeballs to look at stuff

Flora Graham
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Google Goggles is such a great name we're not surprised Google had to invent an app to go with it. The thinking behind the app is simple -- snap a photo and it searches Google for any text it can recognise, similar images and more info about the object in the photo.

We took Google Goggles for a test drive to see what it could see, and it was a mixed bag, with some searching coming up trumps and some coming up turnips. In use, it's an innovative and fun application, but it's very unreliable.

Alone against a white background, a can of delicious spray cheese was easily recognised by Google's teams of trained squirrels, and Google Goggles gave us a list of useful links to spray-cheese-related listings.

Google Goggles is free on the Android Market on phones running Android 1.6 or higher -- so not for HTC Hero fans.

Read on to find out how other photos fogged up Google Goggles.

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The same can of aerosol cheese, photographed against a busier backround, didn't return any good results -- but Google did make a punt at finding similar images, returning a gallery including a lizard and a jacuzzi.
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After we took a snap of this tin of Altoids, Google Goggles spends a moment analysing the image for recognisable text, shapes or colours.
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Unfortunately, despite its popularity as a Web-geek tool, our search of the extra-strong mints wasn't a success.
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A snapshot of a business card did a better job of recognising the contact info, but it missed most of the details, and the Web-search results were way off.
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A photo of a book had vastly superior results, giving us a handy Amazon link, a Google book preview and a price-checking option.
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A self-portrait revealed CNET's mobile phones reviewer looks similar to a plate of sweets, a small fox, or the Cardiff opera house. Bang on, then.

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