Google Goggles at Garage Sales

By Chris Janota, Garage Sale Rover

In a previous blog post we analyzed  a promising project that categorizes antiquities named Info-Snap.

Currently search involves entering  text. You may even sometimes search by voice commands.  This project uses your phones camera to analyze an antique hallmark to bring up relevant information.  In this post we’ll look at search engine giant Google and their Google Goggles mobile app that uses your camera phone and the pictures you take to search the web. As of right now, the visual search option is only available to Android enabled devices. However, the visual search service may become available to any phone with a camera, in the near future.  I foresee the ability to upload photos from your home computer and have the Google’s search bot cross reference the image with whatever it may be.

Google Goggles is a new search concept that is still being developed.  Right now the search technology is in it’s infancy, but eventually, it will become the next wave of search engine evolution. Due to being new in the search market, Google Goggles will only work with a select few things. Look below for some examples of ways that a person could use the visual search service.

Books: For instance, you are at a garage sale and you notice a book cover that catches your attention. Since you want to check out more information about this particular book, you decide to take a snapshot of it for later use. Then, you realize that you already have Google Goggles installed on your mobile device, so you decide to use the service. With the Goggles you are able to locate information about the book such as purchase information, and release date.

Artwork and antiques:

Let’s say that you are rummaging around through another person’s stuff looking for your treasure. You find a beautiful painting that looks old and has been tossed aside. You decide to cross reference it with Google’s database by taking a snap shot. Once you take that picture you find out directly from Google that the artwork, in front of you, is actually worth more than the seller is asking. You would know the title of the painting, when it was created, and who created it. I would think that this type of information would come in handy when you are searching for hidden gems.

Products: This product is only in testing now with google so how far this can go as a garage sale tool is yet to be determined.  Although I do not drink wine often, I know other people that would use the Wine feature of Google’s Goggles. Picture if you were at a garage sale and decided you were curious about a particular item, you could always take a photo of it. Once your photo is uploaded into Google Goggles you would be able to cross reference it with other products to get where ansd when it was made and secondary pricing information.

Logos: You are able to take a photo of a logo and find out more facts about that particular company. Anything that is on the web about that logo is available, in the palm of your hand without typing. As a Google Goggles user you can even take a snapshot of a product’s bar code and find what store sold it, for how much, and if they still have it in stock. This could come in handy when you pull up to a stop sign and see some contracting company that you would like to call.

I’m holding out hope that this technology can be developed into a usefule garage sale pricing tool.  The reality is that even though google goggles is currently available in the Google Play Store still has a long way to go to becoming that indescpeble tool that revolutionizes garage saling.   Currently Goggles is better used to read public landmarks and places, identifying business cards and wine bottles.


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