Google Goggles image recognition debuts on iPhone

Android users have been enjoying Google Goggles for a while; now, the image recognition feature has made it over to the iPhone. The first hints that GG would make the leap to iPhone came back in August, and we're glad to see it here now.

Google Goggles delivers the kind of visual product search and recognition features found in SnapTell (now owned by Amazon) and Kooaba. While it's a separate app on the Android Market, on iPhone it's bundled in with the existing Google Mobile app.

As the video shows, with Google Goggles (not to be confused with other, similar sounding technologies), you can use visual recognition to search for information with your iPhone's camera -- even translate text from other languages into English on demand. The service works best on copy, logos, book covers, landmarks, wine labels and other easily recognized images; it doesn't do so well with organic shapes like animals, people or food. Note that since it requires an auto-focusing camera, Goggles will only work on the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

If you update your Google Mobile app, you'll see a new camera icon in the top bar. The first time you tap it, you'll have to clear several screenfuls of instructions and accept a new version of the Google mobile usage agreement. You can, at your option, have your image capture history saved to your Google account.

More details are available on Google's blog. Get Goggling!