Frustrated with having to think of a search term or keyword to search for information on a photo, graphic or image? Internet search engine is mostly and prominently text based, and requires user to enter a text string in order to retrieve relevant information. Visual search, which use pictures to search the web, is another front in web search.

Google has been testing visual search for a while internally, but has now released a new application for the Android operating system that enables visual search. Google Goggles is available for free download in the Android Market for mobile cell phone devices running version 1.6 or later.

Google Goggles adds support for visual search, allowing user to search the World Wide Web (WWW) by using an image or picture, or by taking pictures of landmark, book, contact information, artwork, place, wine, logo, barcode and etc. By using Google Goggles, user can quickly identify the name or check for more information on an object.

Google Goggles

The main benefit of Google Googgles is that user no longer need to type in the search phrase. Instead, just snap or scan the image of the object into Google Goggles and related information can be presented instantly. In addtion, Goggles also supports searching for nearby businesses based on the places or stores the phone camera is capturing. The picture is discarded once the search is done, but user can also turn on “visual search history” to view or share the pictures at any time.

More information for Goggles can be found at, and can be downloaded from Android market through the phone device. Do note that Goggles is not perfect yet, and don’t expect it to able to identify the pictures correctly all the time.

Google Goggles demonstration video clip.

Update: Google Goggles 1.4