Google Goggles Capabilities Could Come to Google Camera App

Google Goggles, a virtual search app that searches images, could get closer tie-ins to the Google Camera app.

Google Goggles

The Google Camera app could get tighter integration with the company's Google Goggles visual search app in the future, according to a rumor circulating about coming improvements for the Camera app.

By adding Goggles capabilities to the Camera app, users could gain new functions and features when conducting searches using images, according to a March 26 story by Android Authority.

Combining features from the apps could give the improved features to users of the more popular and well-known Google Camera app, which has many more users and downloads than the Google Goggles app (pictured), the story reported. The Google Camera app is part of Android in the Google Nexus phone product line.

These details about the rumored Camera/Goggles integration originated from an anonymous source who also said that the improved app will allow "users to outline specific areas of the image in order to directly target their searches," rather than scanning the entire image as is the practice using Goggles today, the story reported. With the existing Goggles app, "Images often display plenty of distractions, background items and other objects that may throw off a search result. According to the sketch provided, the system will also be able to recommend retailers for purchasing products, as well as other details."

The source also said that such an app "has also been tested in 'wearable computing devices,'" the story reported. "This could suggest this technology may come to products like Google Glass and possibly even VR (or AR) headsets."

Google Goggles debuted in 2009 and has undergone regular development to eye new uses and capabilities for the visual search technology behind it, according to an earlier eWEEK story.

Goggles is a visual search application that uses smartphone cameras to send image information to Google's computing clouds, then back to the users' phones to complete an action. By taking a photo with the app, users can then obtain search results based on the photo.

The latest Google Goggles app for Android, Version 1.9.4, was released in May of 2014.

The app is used by pointing a mobile phone camera at a painting, a famous landmark, a barcode or QR code, a product, a popular image or at just about anything, according to Google. "If Goggles finds it in its database, it will provide you with useful information."

The Goggles app can read text in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish and translate it into other languages. Goggles can also be used as a scanner for barcodes or QR codes to get product information. Users can also use it to add contacts by scanning business cards, to scan text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or solve Sudoku puzzles, according to Google.