Google boggles with Google goggles

The newest version of mobile application Google Goggles (image recognition technology) enables automatic text translation using the phone’s camera.

From translating street signs to navigating foreign menus, people can now use their Android mobile devices for easy on-the-spot translation using the technology of Google Goggles plus the engine behind Google Translate.

Here’s how it works:

  • Point your phone at a word or phrase. Use the region of interest button to draw a box around specific words
  • Press the shutter button
  • Goggles will recognize the text, and give you the option to translate
  • Press the translation button to select the source and destination language.

Current languages supported include English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

In addition to translation, Google Goggles v1.1 features a larger database of recognised objects, improved user interface, and the ability to initiate visual searches using images in your phone’s gallery. Point your phone at a building that takes your eye in Paris or Rome for example and be connected to search results telling you all about it.

Just what we need for the next holiday, an app that translates street signs – obviously as the driver I won’t be using this app. Does it come with reading glasses? Makes that Expansys £159.99 (Inc VAT) price tag for an Acer be Touch E101 seem like a bargain. If you bought a GPS and a translator you wouldn’t get much change from £250, but for less than £140 you get a phone chucked in.