Friday, December 11, 2009

Google Goggles: Practical and Lazy

So, according to an article at, , Google is working on adding some new features for all of us. We all know and love (or hate, depending on who you are) some of Google's other functions, but they are adding some interesting ones this time around. While some of the other features intrigue me immensely, I think the Google Goggles feature may hold loads of potential for those of us who do commerce on and with the web.

Google Goggles is a feature where you can take a photo of something and Google will research it for you. How many times have I seen something, asked myself “What exactly IS that?" and had to reply "Heck if I know." How useful, as a consumer, to be able to Goggle something, and get a reply? Want to know what work of art you're looking at? Want to know how much amazon is selling the book on a friend's coffee table for? What subtle flavor profiles does this wine have? Google Goggles would be able to answer those questions for the buyer.

And as a goods producer, how useful would it be for you to be able to see if people were looking up your product via Goggles? I have no idea if Google has any plans on allowing us to see when/where/frequency/etc of a product's Google Goggling, but to me, it would make sense. And if has occurred to me, then one would hope that the officials there would have thought of it. The producer could then get an idea of whether or not your branding is doing its job, if the consumer is aware of your product (ie, what they're looking at.) Or, if your branding is working within a particular geographic region, or with a certain advertising campaign. With that knowledge, you can then tailor your website (from Addison Technologies, of course,) marketing and business plans.

What is interesting to me too, is how it this feature will be abused. We can already foresee that somehow your innocent look-up of a bag of exotic coffee beans will somehow garner a link to a porn site for kinky coffee addicts. Don't smirk, you know it'll happen. And additionally, how will advertisers be compensated for this feature? Will your coffee bean look up garner a Starbucks link first, even if it has no real relevance? Then there's the underlying question: how lazy are we, I mean really? (I'll give you a pass if you Goggle something with labeling in a foreign language.) You can't take the time to type out that book title, you just want to take a photo--unfortunately, yes, we're getting that lazy.

No comments:

Post a Comment