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Talking Goggles

 Contributed by Joel Zimba, Technology Outreach Specialist, MDTAP

Not to be confused with Google Glass, Talking Goggles is an iPhone app which tells you something about what the camera is viewing.  The quick review–it works surprisingly well.

While there are settings which can recognize things from the photo gallery or take still pictures, the most useful method is to recognize what comes from the video feed.

After a bit of fiddling, Goggles announces, “wrist watch,” when I get my first test object into focus.  Then, it tells me the brand, size and type of hand lotion.  This seems pretty useful.  I then went for a more complicated test.  Pointing my iPhone camera at my Mac screen returned an unusual result.  “Doctor Who Poster with flames,” says Goggles.  It was correct, as my open iTunes window had the picture of the latest episode being displayed proudly.  When I moved the camera back slightly, Goggles announces, “MacBook Pro.”

It’s not clear to me how Talking Goggles works.  It may recognize common objects, search for logos and other commercial materials, scan barcodes, do a bit of OCR or some combination of all of these.  So far, Goggles seems to work much better than previous apps which deliver the same functionality.  Try Talking Goggles, you will be pleased.

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