Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bust Out Your Android Goggles for Google Visual Search

Google Visual Search is coming to Android. Hartmut Neven, Google Product Manage, revealed the new application during a recent CNBC special “Inside the Mind of Google“. The service allows users to take pictures of real world objects and generate a Google search related to the item. The technology uses visual recognition engines and location based services to provide accurate results.

Mr. Neven gave several examples of how the service could be used such as:

“Imagine you are on travel in Paris and you visit a museum. If a picture catches your attention you can simply take a photo and send it to the VMS service. Within seconds you will receive an audio-visual narrative explaining the image to you. If you happen to be connected to a 3G network the response time would be below a second. After the museum visit you might step outside and see a coffeehouse.”

We have been speculating that Google could offer free VOIP calling service when they launch their own phone next year and this is another example of how they could monetize the service. Google’s recent acquisition of Admob is going to be key in their mobile advertising ambitions.

I was unable to find a video of the Google Visual Search demo, but they had a short clip talking about Android. Most of the footage is from this year’s Google I/O. I was actually in the same room with Sergey Brin on some of those shots and I half expected to see myself in some of the clips, but no luck.


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