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Google reveals visual search ambitions with Google Goggles

LONDON - Google has launched a new product for its Android phone that searches using the camera rather than via keywords.

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Dubbed 'Google Goggles', the feature works on Android 1.6+ devices and currently can be used to identify landmarks, works of art and products but, according to Google, doesn't work so well on things like cars, animals or food.

It is only in Google Labs stage - ie experimental testing - at the moment due to what Google called the "nascence of the technology, and the scope of our ambitions".

Google has added several new features to search this week, including real time, which will roll out this week, and Japanese voice search.

Vic Gundotra, vice-president of engineering at Google, said: "Today you frame and snap a photo to get results, but one day visual search will be as natural as pointing a finger -- like a mouse for the real world. Either way we've got plenty of work to do, so please download Goggles from Android Market and help us get started."

Google has produced a video demonstrating the tool:

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