Google Goggles puts some deceptively powerful image-recognition tools at your fingertips, identifying landmarks, translating foreign text, and recognizing product logos. Right now, though, using the app may not be as graceful as you’d like, requiring you to start it up, crop your image, and send a pic to Google’s servers each time you want Goggles to work its magic. What about a future version of the software that worked in real-time, popping-up information on your surroundings like an augmented reality app? We’re still quite a ways off from that experience, but the latest Google Goggles update is a step in the right direction, offering a background analysis mode that generates notifications when Google finds something interesting.
You still have to snap your own pics with this new mode, but are no longer constrained to doing so from within the Goggles app. Now you can have pictures you take with your default camera app automatically processed by Goggles in the background. Snap away at whatever you’d like, then Goggles will get to work on breaking them down and looking for things it recognizes. If Google’s servers come back with matches, you’ll be let know via an Android notification.
It’s not a huge change to how the app works, but it really has us thinking that Google has its long-term sights on some sort of AR framework for its imaging-processing algorithms. For now, you can check out the new Google Goggles 1.6 in the Android Market.