Google's Goggles: a perfect opportunity for companies to gain perspective?

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The robotic hand of science fiction crawled its way into reality a long time ago. With massive advances in technology being made each day, I can’t help wondering just how far ‘the machines’ are going to infiltrate our lives.

My train of thought was prompted by Google’s announcement on Monday that it had launched an updated version of ‘Goggles’, a visual recognition app that was originally introduced to help smartphone users search for objects on the internet by taking pictures of them.

Some of the features really are impressive. It allows you to solve Sudoku puzzles in seconds (but where’s the fun in that?) and can even recognise print adverts in most major publications, allowing consumers to access information on both brand and product in seconds.

Need to know what that tall thing is in the middle of Trafalgar Square? Goggles can tell you. The app can recognise landmarks, as well as logos. Perhaps one of its main advantages – from a PR perspective anyway – is the application’s ability to upload contact information directly from business cards. When you attend as many events as Peppermint does, this can be a real saviour.

As a PR exec, I know how precious time is for everyone in the office and it’s often those pesky ‘little’ jobs that take the longest. With technology like this available, perhaps some of those jobs can now be performed more efficiently? Google 1.3 offers companies the chance to upload data and conduct basic research on a faster scale – although whether the technology offers quality solutions, only time will tell. As for the machines taking over completely, I doubt it. I know that the Peppermints, at least, will never give up on the personal touch.