Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Google Goggles Just Totally Blew My Mind

Google Goggles is a service that allows you to submit a photo shot with your smartphone and have Google identify whatever's in the photo, and search for web pages about that thing. So if you shoot a UPC code, it will find web pages about that product. If you shoot the Eiffel Tower, it will find web pages about that attraction. Etc, etc.

The problem is there's no way to submit preexisting photos. My workaround: open a photo on my computer screen, and then shoot the screen with my smartphone. It works!

Everyone has their Google Goggles miracle story, but this is way beyond. Longtime sloggers may recall my entry about Milton Resnick, the abstract expressionist painter. I fell in love with his painting, East is the Place, at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Here it is:

Figuring such a paint-splattered abstract work would be a challenge for Google Goggles, I gave it a try, and Google somehow found a page containing the tiny ad below! And, yup, that's the museum's bench and floor, and about 2% of the painting. Oh, and neither painting nor museum - whoops! - are credited in the ad (hmmm...potential business plan alert!).

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