Translate the real world with Google Goggles

Thursday, May 6, 2010 | 7:59 AM

Traveling to another country can be an amazing experience. The opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture can give you a new perspective. However, it can be hard to fully enjoy the experience if you do not understand the local language. For example, ordering food from a menu you can not read can be an adventure. Today we are introducing a new feature of Google Goggles that will prove useful to travelers and monoglots everywhere: Goggles translation.


Here’s how it works:
  • Point your phone at a word or phrase. Use the region of interest button to draw a box around specific words
  • Press the shutter button
  • If Goggles recognizes the text, it will give you the option to translate
  • Press the translate button to select the source and destination languages.


Google Goggles in action (click images to see large version)


The first Goggles translation prototype was unveiled earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and could only recognize German text. Today Goggles can read English, French, Italian, German and Spanish and can translate to many more languages. We are hard at work extending our recognition capabilities to other Latin-based languages. Our goal is to eventually read non-Latin languages (such as Chinese, Hindi and Arabic) as well.

Every new release of Google Goggles contains at least one new feature and a large number of improvements to our existing functionality. In addition to translation, Goggles v1.1 features improved barcode recognition, a larger corpus of artwork, recognition of many more products and logos, an improved user interface, and the ability to initiate visual searches using images in your phone’s photo gallery.

Computer vision is a hard problem. While we are excited about Goggles v1.1, we know that there are many images that we cannot yet recognize. The Google Goggles team is working on solving the technical challenges required to make computers see. We hope you are as excited as we are about the possibilities of visual search.

Google Goggles v1.1 is available on devices running Android 1.6 and higher. To download, please scan the QR code below or go to the Android Market app on your phone and search for “Google Goggles”. See our help center for more information.



38 comments:

Mike said...

Is it available in the Canadian market? I don't see it (yet).

Matt said...

Mike- It's on its way out now. You should be able to see it in market in the next few minutes.

lowlight said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

When you do Chinese

DO NOT SKIP TRADITIONAL!

I know it's 'trendy' to cater everything to mainland china, but I'm sure the Android market is bigger in Hong Kong and Taiwan anyway ;)

This will come in SO HANDY for menus in Hong Kong! It's something I have dreamed about having since I first came here 7 years ago.

Mike said...

Awesome, found it!

Just used it to translate a little bit of Deutsch and it worked splendidly.

patrozoo said...

This update erased my search history and when I've "goggled" something, I can't access the search history at all. "Authentication fail".
How can I solve this problem?

Straußenwurst said...

You can download the new Google Goggles with Google Translate by taking a picture of this magic QR code using any barcode reading app (including Google Goggles itself... circular!).

http://qrcode.kaywa.com/img.php?s=12&d=market://details%3Fid%3Dcom.google.android.apps.unveil

Matt said...

@patrozoo
Please post on the help forum with some more details so we can investigate: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/label?lid=5d174550187aa10e&hl=en Specifically, what phone are you using, what version of android. If it can't authenticate, your history shouldn't be erased, it just won't be visible until authentication works.

@Mike Glad it's working for you!

@lowlight We're hoping not to 'skip' any languages :) Support for languages that aren't Latin-based is going to depend on the quality level we can reach as well as processing cost. We definitely hope to support Simplified and Traditional Chinese in the future.

nonuya said...

I have a N1,
Today I launched the update from the market to 1.1 and the app does not work, as soon as it is lauching it goes on error:
Sorry
The application goggle (process com.google.android.apps.unveil) has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.

Sean said...

hi matt

running 2.0 on an htc hero in the uk on 3 but can't find goggles anywhere

any ideas?

thanks!

majd said...

But it will require an internet connection, and when i'm travelling, it will be horribly expensive to use my data plan :(

Craftyshrew said...

iPhone please!!!!

I bought my co-worker a Nexus One to support you Google...now please make me an iPhone version.

David said...

I know that obviously Google will prioritise android users, but does Google plan on releasing this type of app for other phones? Id love a Windows Mobile app.

omontague said...

Is there a iPhone version In the works? :)

Jesse Ball said...

So SAD, Sprint hasn't updated their Android phones so I cant try it out. :( Curses Sprint!

Apphacker said...

How about copy and paste in email? I'd like to see that some day soon. Also zoom in email. I'd prefer this over this app.

Niraj said...

Please release this for Windows Mobile!

John said...

Ouch. I just tried copying a text from a web page and the OCR recognized less than 10% of the words. I'm not familiar with OCR architecture but this needs some work. Maybe you can leverage the Google cache of websites to improve OCR of published text to guesstimate what I'm actually looking at.

crystal said...

It would be SO nice if this would be released for ALL versions of Android since our lovely handset makers and carriers haven't bothered to roll out updates for all the Android Phones out there being used, and a LOT of users won't even be able to use this.

Not Nice. :(

Matt said...

@patrozoo Please take a look at http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=168142 and let us know if it helps

allmoney.ws said...

I bought HTC Desire in Helsinki, but live in Russia & at this menu no Russian language (no "Translate to Russian")
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_IevKNrO7uCY/S-L6WvP6UxI/AAAAAAAAAQM/onDlpfbKP0I/s1600/translate3.png

How can I fix it?

* Jewelry Designer: Harjot * said...

Great now I want this too...I want an iPAD lol

* Jewelry Designer: Harjot * said...

Great now I want this too...I want an iPAD lol

Demuxer said...

damn great app!!
this must be open source material, this tool can be helpfull in a lot of ways, please open it!!

Калин Георгиев said...

It would have been a great tool for travelers unless you had to pay gigantic fees on data roaming. Did you hear that, EU?

watso said...

it's nice to Google goggles support other language, but firstly Google needs level up the translation tool for the menu glossary, at the moment its translation leave much to be desired. Google need incorporate good food name glossary from third party.

Adam said...

When will it be in the Norwegian market?

Can't see it yet...

Hmpf.. ;-)

jonbrett said...

This does not appear to be available on market place for me. I am using an HTC Tattoo in the UK (Android 1.6). Is this just a slow roll-out?

Stellar Drift said...

Ok, two things:

1. I know you are mobile, but please make a website where we can upload pictures from the computer for translation as well.


2. And stop being phone racists, please make a java version of the client which works for my Sony Erickson non android. (I am unlikely to get an android phone, until someone makes a NON touch sensitive version).

Giorgio Voltolina said...

I installed it in my Acer Liquid but it doesn't work at all. The old version of google goggles worked very well instead. Please fix it as soon as possible!

Noah said...

I would like to see better input of business card info. Otherwise the app works very well.

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Yami said...

I'd love to run it on Satio. Any chance any soon?

Rale said...

Goggels 1.1 doesn`t work on Sony Ericsson Xperia X10! Wrong part of picture taken scanned in the process...

Florian said...

Wouldn't it be practical if you could use it offline? Where would you need such a feature? On vacation in a foreign country... Roaming costs can be a bitch

Jason said...

I know somewhere, someone has asked for this but you must do two things for the mobiel version of google maps.
1)add an option to trace your routes as to see where you've been.
2)for the beta navigation, you should add an 'avoid tolls' option.

I use the program on my MOTO Droid every day at work as I drive everywhere. For the tracing routes I use another program I have to toggle back and forth too and to avoid tolls is only done by trying to trace my own directions using the map itself which is a pain to say the least. Besides these features that are lacking, I love google products, keep it up guys.

Jason said...

I know somewhere, someone has asked for this but you must do two things for the mobiel version of google maps.
1)add an option to trace your routes as to see where you've been.
2)for the beta navigation, you should add an 'avoid tolls' option.

I use the program on my MOTO Droid every day at work as I drive everywhere. For the tracing routes I use another program I have to toggle back and forth too and to avoid tolls is only done by trying to trace my own directions using the map itself which is a pain to say the least. Besides these features that are lacking, I love google products, keep it up guys.

Joe said...

I know you have heard this before, but this would be fantastic as a web-app to also simply upload the image from my computer. Anything in the works?

Robert said...

I have looked and looked for this on my Samsung moment and have had no luck. Is it my phone or because I'm on sprint network. Any help would be great. Thanks.