Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Google Goggles & Google Search

Bring the information from the web to real life...

One of the most underused apps on most Apple devices the Google Mobile Search app. This app not only lets you search the web but let's you search by voice. My wife and I often have contests to see who can Google the fastest. She on her laptop and me on my iPad. We'll be watching an episode of NCIS and she'll ask "How old is Marc Harmon?" Then the race is on. Thanks to this little app I don't have to keyboard anything, I speak "How old is Marc Harmon?" 9 times out of 10 it understands me perfectly...which is more than I can say for my beautiful wife :)

All kidding aside, this app has gotten some upgrades that I have to write about. For about a year, Google has had an Android app called "Google Goggles". Goggles searches the web for you based
on images. You take a picture with the app, Google compares it to similar images on the web and gives you a Google search based on your picture. WHAM! you are instantly taken to links with limitless information on that item. The Google Goggles app has now been fully integrated with the Apple IOS Google Mobile Search App.

But perhaps the best part is that the app doesn't just scan images. It also scans barcodes & QR codes.

Here is my experiment with the Google Mobile app from my iPad:

1. Select the camera 2. Take the picture 3. Choose the site you want to look at.

QR codes:
1. Scan your QR code 2. Go to the site of video linked in the code.
The QR code above comes from a book trailer project by our librarian.

According to Google's info on this feature you scan any of the things below.

This type of app is what geeks call "Augmented reality", basically you bring the limitless information of the web and mix it with reality. It's a fantastic new technology and our students can do so much with it...if we let them.

With our students being allowed to bring their own devices to the classroom next year. Stay tuned for many tech projects based on these apps and QR codes.

To recap the apps are: