Scanning with Google Goggles

So you got a fancy new tablet or phone for Christmas?

QR Code on BusBy now you’ve probably come across one of those ubiquitous quick response (QR) codes. If your new mobile gadget didn’t come with an app for scanning these little boxes of visual static consider Google Goggles.

Goggles is an app originally created for Android devices, but now available for Apple iOS and Blackberry. It’s actually an image search tool and can identify famous paintings, a building or even translate a label. Even though it isn’t specifically designed as a barcode reader it does a dandy job with QR codes and the UPC codes found on most products.

Using your device’s camera the app locks on to shapes, images and patterns. After analyzing the data it presents you with links or info on what it “sees” in the image. It also has OCR (optical character recognition) capabilities which allow you to scan business cards into your contacts list, translate signs or solve Sudoku puzzles!

Here’s a slightly cheesy little video about some of the cool things you can do with Goggles and how it works:


Image courtesy Eekim on Flickr

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