With Google actively seeking to expand on their wealth of technology to make searching by the consumer an ever-easier task, the latest in a long line of products to exit the Google Labs format reaches us in the guise of Google Goggles.
The concept itself is attractive and very clever – instead of using words to search the internet, use pictures taken in real time from your Android-fuelled mobile phone. And herein lies the initial issue – this trial version is only available to phones that use Android technology, currently only a very small percentage of the market with the mobile-masses opting for Apple’s iphone instead. However should this test prove successful then this technology will be rolled out across other smartphone formats.
Having used this it is clear to see how this could be used beneficially in everyday life to make life easier - researching where to dine, adding contacts to your phone or to find the cheapest place to buy the latest Dan Brown. It can also identify well known Landmarks:
The idea behind this part of the tool, namely the research of books, has previously been seen by iphone savvy iphone users within the Amazon app that is readily available to them. Therefore what Google have done here is not to release an original product, but to broaden the appeal and market of one already in place.
With so many ways of identifying and researching useful products and services with modern mobile handsets with the explosion of technology and in ever more ingenious, simple and attractive ways, is this tool over-complicating the consumers choice of search? Mobile internet is now so fast, reliable and easy to use that simply tying in the keywords into Google on your mobile would return the same results in the same time with arguably less hassle.
If this tool does make it through the trial period and successfully onto the far more expansive iphone App list, will this be able to compete with what is available to these users with enough of a unique selling proposition? Or will this be another Google tool that, although theoretically has a purpose and is attractive to use, just isn’t practical enough to be used by the masses on a regular and worthwhile basis? The doubts are certainly there.