By Chuong Nguyen | August 24, 2010 1:24 AM
Google, which has recently begun to bring visual search to the public mind share through its Google Goggles Android app, is looking to continue to expand visual search by acquiring Like.com for its expertise in the area and also looking to expand Goggles to the iPhone and iOS platform.
Although not the first visual search tool on the market–Nokia and Microsoft had proof of concepts and the Google Shopper Android app preceded Goggles–Goggles was perhaps the first mainstream visual search app that leveraged Android’s growing specs (1 GHz processor, advanced image sensors for high resolution images making it easier to decipher the object in question) and also high speed Internet brought forth by 3G and 4G networks that make visual search appealing. It seems that the company is looking to expand the scope and function of its visual search engine with the purchase of Like.com.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is speculated that Google has acquired Like.com for about $100 million. According to Like.com’s CEO, “We were the first to bring visual search to shopping, the first to build an automated cross-matching system for clothing, and more. We didn’t stop there and don’t have plans to stop now. We see joining Google as a way to supersize our vision and supercharge our passion.”
We’ll have to wait and see where Google intends to take its Goggles visual search app, but one near term goal is to expand to the iPhone/iOS platform. At the Hot Chips conference at Stanford University, California, Goggles head David Petrou said that the app will be arriving on iPhones by the end of the year.
Other applications that Google can use to leverage Goggles and its lead in visual searches could be to integrate with social networking features and using it with ads and advertisers.