Google Goggles Stories November 18, 2014

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Remember that spooky feeling you got when you first tried Google Goggles and it actually worked? Well, prepare to be creeped out yet again by the search giant’s new photo recognition tech. Google has developed a new machine-learning system that automatically assigns captions that accurately describes items displayed in a photo.

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Google Goggles Stories August 23, 2012

Google Goggles updated with faster object tracking and better QR code scanning

Google Goggles received a decent update today that brings more than a few new features and enhancements. Most notably, users no longer have to enable search history to use the “search from camera” function. Google also noted object tracking in continuous mode is now “faster and more robust.” Google then explained a number of ways it improved scanning QR codes with a URL encoded:

– When scanning a QR code that has a URL encoded: – The thumbnail of a page is shown – URL is checked against a malicious URL blacklist – More complete barcode coverage – Support for non-autofocus cameras – When Goggles fails to find an exact match – search for products that look similar.

As always, the updated version of Google Goggles for Android devices running 2.2 and up is free from Google Play now.

Google Goggles Stories January 25, 2012

Google released updates today to three of its popular Android apps: Google Maps, Goggles, and Listen.

Google Maps was updated with a small new feature called “night mode” that will help you better navigate through tunnels. There is not much word on how exactly this feature will work, but it sounds cool nonetheless.

Google Goggles was updated to version 1.7.1 with a long list of updates. Goggles will no longer store inaccurate locations for queries in search history and it will not crash when loading large bitmaps. The app also features the usual performance enhancements and will now show the description field for user-submitted results.

Lastly, Listen’s update is small. It fixes an issue where Listen would improperly take audio focus from other apps while in the background. You can download these updates from the Android Market. (via Android Central)

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Google Goggles Stories December 7, 2011

The Google Goggles Android app has received an update to version 1.7 today, bringing with it a number of performance enhancements and new features including “continuous mode, improved text recognition and contributed results”. You can grab the free updated app here now and check out a break down of the new features below.

The new Continuous Mode allows you to get results for what you’re looking at without having to take a picture. Google Goggles will scan the area automatically looking for books, artwork, or landmarks. Continuous mode searches won’t be stored in your Google Search history, but snapshot is still available. The app also received improved text recognition that will  scan text in, for example, a newspaper or magazine and return a link to an online version of the same article. The app will also now display user submitted results and provides a “Do you have a better suggestion?” option when searching.

Google also today updated the Google Maps Android app to version 6.0.1 with a “bug fixes for certain newer devices”.

Google Goggles Stories September 15, 2011

Goggles, a visual search technology from Google available on Android and iOS devices, is great for researching products, buildings and other objects simply by snapping them with your phone camera. Google announced in a blog post that a new version is available which lets you opt-in to have your camera roll automatically uploaded to the Google cloud. It’s similar to how the instant upload feature in the Google+ mobile app uploads photos and videos to a private album as you take them. They call it camera search and you can enable it in Goggles version 1.6 by checking Search from Camera in Menu > Settings.

Once up in the cloud, Google will auto-analyze your snaps and notify you when it recognizes something . For example, you may have taken a bunch of shots of historic buildings on your vacation. By allowing Goggles to upload your snaps, you can get search results for, say, recognized landmarks almost instantly. This lets you explore more information about the city, such as its history, and learn something new right on the spot. We like it a lot and if you’re fan of Goggles, update the app and give it a try.

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Google Goggles Stories August 1, 2011

In a report from the WSJ, a new study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh used facial-recognition technology in combination with data from Facebook accounts to successfully identify one-third of volunteer participants.

In the study, researchers used PittPatt software and a webcam to snap photos of volunteers who would later be identified via their publicly available Facebook profile pictures. Raising considerable security and privacy concerns, however, was the fact Professor Acquisti was also able to correctly predict the first five digits of a participant’s Social Security number in approximately 27% of cases (those are determined where you are born and when).

Should you be worried? Not if you trust Google’s stance on privacy… Addressing the privacy concerns highlighted by the study, a Google spokesperson told WSJ:

“We’ve said that we won’t add face recognition to our apps or product features unless we have strong privacy protections in place, and that’s still the case”

Google recently acquired the facial-recognition technology and will more than likely be integrating it into various Google products including Google+ and Google Goggles. A Google spokesperson had this to say about the acquisition:

“The Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition team has developed innovative technology in the area of pattern recognition and computer vision. We think their research and technology can benefit our users in many ways, and we look forward to working with them.” expand full story

Google Goggles Stories July 23, 2011

Google has acquired PittPatt, a company focused on facial recognition in photos, reports Wall Street Journal. While the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, Google will be receiving PittPatt’s brainy employees. PittPatt was founded by three “image analysis” and “pattern recognition” specialists whom have PhD’s from Carnegie Mellon University. PitPatt’s technology could go into a number of products — like Google Goggles or Google+.

Something worth noting is what Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt had to say at AllThingsD’s D9 conference in May regarding the matter of facial recognition:

Schmidt says he does have some concerns about the limits of technology, including combining face recognition with other technologies. Google, with Goggles, had moved pretty far down that path, but has stopped because of the implications.

“We built that technology and we withheld it,” Schmidt says.

People could use the stuff in a bad way in addition to a very good way.

A spokesperson told WSJ:

We’ve said that we won’t add face recognition to our apps or product features unless we have strong privacy protections in place, and that’s still the case

Google Goggles Stories June 22, 2011

Google has updated  its Goggles app for Android with support for the Russian language. The software also features a handy Google Maps integration and the little things such as the ability to view your search history on a map or the ability to automatically copy your findings to system clipboard. Since 2009, Google has only supported languages that use Latin characters. The latest update brings support for Cyrillic characters, making the Russian language one of the new options.

The new search history feature is especially useful: It lets you visualize on a world map the places where you’ve been (and searched using the Goggles service). The world map overview of your history is in addition to the standard list view. Lastly, Google wants to make it easier to share our findings by allowing people to opt-in to have their findings automatically added to the clipboard for easy and fast sharing. The update is available on Android Market.

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Google Goggles Stories May 9, 2011

Another update ahead of I/O tomorrow, this one looks pretty good.

What’s in this version of Google Goggles:

  1. Enhanced Search History feature allows you share results with others & search for prior results
  2. Improved business card scanning
  3. Suggest a result when Goggles fails to recognize an object
  4. Option to save query images to SD card
  5. Pictures taken during slow connectivity can be saved for later.
  6. ( Improved network reliability

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