Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.
Google Goggles, Google’s camera-powered app that recognizes physical goods like paintings, products and landmarks, has just received an update to version 1.9. This time, there’s a strong emphasis on helping people shop.
When this product was first released, its goal seemed to lie in bridging the gap between digital search and the real world. Now, it feels like Google is shifting focus a bit, with new features to help users shop and discover products.
More specifically, this update brings in improved product recognition, new recommendations that help users browse similar products, and changes to Google’s “Search from camera” feature, which reveals information as you take your photos.
Judging from the screenshot provided above, the product recommendation engine feels more like a novelty than a shopper’s best friend. From what we can see, Google is able to recognize color and basic clothing types, but doesn’t dive much deeper than that.
Still, even with its shortcomings, Google has plenty of reasons to try to master product detection. It could change the landscape of mobile search, especially as voice is currently being pushed as the best solution by Apple.
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