Google Goggles was an image recognition mobile app developed by Google. It was used for searches based on pictures taken by handheld devices. For example, taking a picture of a famous landmark searches for information about it, or taking a picture of a product's barcode would search for information on the product.
Google Goggles was developed for use on Google's Android operating system for mobile devices. While initially only available in a beta version for Android phones, Google
announced its plans to enable the software to run on other platforms, notably iPhone
[PCWorld: ] Google
did not discuss a non-handheld format. Google product manager Shailesh Nalawadi indicated that Google wanted Goggles to be an application platform, much like Google Maps
, not just a single product.
On October 5, 2010, Google
announced availability of Google Goggles for devices running iOS 4.0.
In a May 2014 update to Google Mobile for iOS, the Google Goggles feature was removed.
At Google I/O 2017, a similar app, Google Lens was announced that has similar functions as Goggles and uses the Google Assistant.
The app was officially discontinued on August 20, 2018 with its last update directing users to download Google Lens or Google Photos upon launching the app.
The system could identify various labels or landmarks, allowing users to learn about such items without needing a text-based search. The system could identify products
or labels that allow users to search for similar products and prices, and save codes for future reference, similar to the CueCat
from late 1990s. The system also recognized printed text and uses optical character recognition (OCR) to produce a text snippet, and in some cases even translate the snippet into another language.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced in December 2011 its collaboration with Google to use Google Goggles for providing information about the artworks in the museum through direct Hyperlink
to the website
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
[ Metropolitan Museum Enhances Online Access to Its Collections with Google Goggles . New York, December 16, 2011; Thomas P. Campbell: Google Goggles (New York, December 16, 2011): I'm pleased to announce a new collaboration with Google that lets you take a picture of a work of art with your mobile device and link straight to more information on metmuseum.org.]