The latest Google Goggles version 1.3, available now in the Google Android Marketplace and the Apple iOS App Store, largely brings under-the-hood enhancements to take advantaged of improved algorithms that significantly increase the accuracy of the app when scanning things like a product barcode. Apart from instant barcode scanning and print ad recognition, as an added bonus, Goggles 1.3 can also help you cheat on Sudoku!
First released on Android phones in December 2009 and on iOS in October 2010, Google Goggles is a visual recognition app that allows users to photograph objects and receive relevant Google search results. It also works with Google Translation.
In this Google Goggles update, the company also improved the apps ability to better recognize content and other elements in magazines, including text, titles, people, and major corporate brands on magazine covers, specifically those in “major US Magazines and newspapers from August 2010 onwards.” Pointing the app at an ad will pull up a search for the brand, or failing that, a matching image search.
Goggles’ barcode recognition now works in under a second, according to the relevant post in the Google Blog: just point your phone’s camera at the barcode or QR code, and the app will pull up product information without requiring a button press.
One of the most impressive additions to the app is its ability to solve Sudoku game puzzles, by simply snapping a picture of the puzzle board; the app is able to analyze and easily and intelligently solve the missing numbers. In a demo video, a Google employee shows the app soundly beating the 2009 Sudoku national champion, Tammy McLeod, who, to be fair, has to pause a couple of times to give the Google employee using his phone looks of disbelief.
Google Goggles Sudoko Video Demo
Google Goggles 1.3 is now available in the Android Market, and these features are also now enabled in the Goggles subsection of the Google Mobile app for the iPhone.