First, please allow me to say that I am totally OK with Google taking over the world. There are those who are not OK with this. I am not one of them, and Google Goggles is one of the many, many reasons why.
While on a bus in New York, I observed someone point at Bergdorf Goodman’s and say, LOOK IT’S MACY’S. While on a bus in Rome, I observed someone point at a small public fountain embedded in a facade on a busy avenue, and say, LOOK IT’S THE TREVI FOUNTAIN. While on a bus in Paris I heard someone ask, ARE WE IN PARIS YET?
My love for surface transit notwithstanding, I can only hope that Google Goggles will catch on to such an extent that these cringe-worthy moments cease to become a regular occurrence.
In case you are not aware, Google Goggles is an app available on Android phones that allow the camera, video, and/or GPS functions to perform automatic Google searches that, well, explain to you what in the hell you’re looking at. For more information about it, as well as an SNL-worthy voiceover by two Google engineers, see the video below.
What does this mean for travelers? Everything, I hope. From the history of a painting in the Louvre to famous sights to restaurant recommendations, I think Google Goggles – maybe not this first version, but surely as it evolves – may just replace lugging around guidebooks, and render on-the-fly knowledge gaps obsolete.
I for one cannot wait until travelers start reporting back on its uses. What do you think about Google Goggles, dear readers? Simply a fun app, or a revolution in travel knowledge?