Images, not words will open up the city of Bologna.
Google Goggles is basically a search engine that uses images instead of words and one that Google is pushing with gusto, albeit in a sort of experimental way.
A recent article and video online via the BBC, demonstrates how we will soon be looking up online searches by using images and not typing in a load of words/text. Although, still very much at a baby steps stage, the progress so far is incredible, while, the advantages will be phenomenal.
The basic functions are thus, Goggles scans an image/photo from your mobile and compares it to other images in its database. When it finds the closest match, providing there is one, it will allow the user to then follow all the relevant leads generated from that image. So, for example, a simple photo of Torre Prendiparte, in Bologna like this:
will eventually lead to all sorts of links and even more relevant photos and videos such as our one in iGuidez.com
However, the real success just doesn’t end there. If an internal image is taken of a piece of art that interests the person but there’s no information regarding the artist etc, Goggles will again search for information and publish all relevant links so no more fiddling about texting directly into the search box. And all in a matter of hassle-free seconds.
Of course, it may take some time for this to bear fruit, unless the topic at hand happens to be a well-known subject. In which case, it will already function quite smoothly. If not, a number of man-hours is required to systematically register every image-worthy aspect in the universe!
Bologna is in a unique position – or could be, at least. iGuidez has been geographically tagging hundreds of videos and thousands of photos around the city, which will make it easier for search engines to categorise in future, and hence, for people to locate information simply based on an instant photo from their mobile.
And it gets even better… with the progress made in augmented reality (see our post years ago). Again, a quick snap of the camera and users will be able to interact with videos and images taken while they saunter around the city, browse in a museum, art gallery or just about any shop or public place.
There’s much to do though if we’re to launch Bologna into the digital stratosphere so watch this space.