Google Goggles now translates text

May 6, 2010

Google Goggles was always a cool product but it now has a new feature which takes it from being merely cool to very, very useful.

Google Goggles is an app which allows you to take a photo of an object on your smartphone and have it recognized. So point your phone at a bottle of wine and it will analyze the label and give you more details about the brand from Google’s vast search index.

However, the latest release, v1.1, adds translation options. The idea is the same: point your phone at a word or phrase, and take an image. But instead of telling you more about the product pictured, Google Goggles translates the text into the language of your choice.

Only five Latin-based languages, English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish, are currently supported, but more are going to added as time goes on. It will also only work on phones running Android 1.6 or higher, so iPhone and BlackBerry owners are out of luck.

This is an innovation that could help everyone who has foreign holidays and who can’t be bothered to learn the language. Is that a good thing? Possibly not, but Google Goggles is still cool.

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