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Review Google Goggles
Free QR scanner, product identification, business card scanner
Author: Jay Feldman
Date: 02 Jul 2014, tested on ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
Powerful functionality, simple interface, minimalist design, fully-featured free version
Glitches, lags a bit
Google Goggles for Android is another interesting app from the mythic overlords of all things Android. Easily scan and identify products, business cards, QR codes, even national monuments all with ease.
Google Goggles is your basic camera scan and identify type app. But as we all know, Google does nothing ordinary, so this app is intended to be a set of virtual reality type glasses - see the world through Google's eyes, if you will. Just open the app, point your cam and shoot most anything you’d like to locate or identify. Think if it as a search engine for your camera; hence the name, Google Goggles.
Where this app excels is product identification. Just for fun, I used this app to take a picture of a container of breath mints, and Google Goggles correctly identified the brand, copy line and even opened a browser with search results on where I could buy some. Alternatively, you could just go to Amazon and type in “breath mints;” but, where’s the fun in that?
Once you take a picture, you’ll see a thin red line scan across your screen; this is when the magic happens, and the app is identifying the item you scanned. The app also functions as a QR scanner; just scan the code to launch the action associated with the QR code.
The real usefulness in Google Goggles comes in identifying things that may be hard to identify; like a landmark you don’t know the name of, or maybe a car that you don’t know the make and model of, or a business card you want to easily add to your contacts. It’s good for any number of things.
Google Goggles is one of those fun little projects Google likes to tinker around with. It’s useful, yet for some reason, totally forgettable; I never seem to remember I have it, let alone use it. But next time you’re in the shopping mall and wondering if you’re getting the best deal on whatever it is you’re buying, try scanning the product with Google Goggles and see what comes up; a better price, product reviews, consumer warnings. The app functions quickly with no real hangs, but for some reason, I just never seem to think about using it.