Google launches augmented reality service and search

Google has just announced two useful services that will be available for use by Android users, as long as they have version 1.6 or higher of the OS.


Google Goggles is an augmented reality app that allows you to point your phone's camera at an item then send the image to the Goggles service and, if Google has a frame of reference for it, a host of information about that item will be returned to you. At the moment, the principle items hosted by the Goggles service, which resembles Nokia's Point and Find app, include landmarks, works of art and products. Hopefully, the database will grow with time.


The second service, What's Nearby, is a location-based search add-on for Google Maps. Once you have the update, available from the Android Market, you can select your location on the map, long-press, and What's Nearby will tell you 10 of the 'coolest' places in that area. And in a few weeks, you can get a similar service by hitting on Android devices and iPhones and tapping the 'Near me now' link.

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