Google unveils real-time and search-with-a-photo features
By Jeff Porten, MacworldDEC 7, 2009 5:48 am PST
Want to know what’s being updated on the Internet right now? Turns out you’re not alone, which is one reason why sites such as
Twitter Search have become so popular. Now Google is moving aggressively into the real-time search area with a new
latest results feature, which will start appearing on your Google searches in the next few days.
Unlike the rest of Google’s bare bones Web presentation, latest results will be dynamic and presented in a scrolling view, with new updates swooshing in as they are captured by Google’s gravitational pull. Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace are among the sources from which this information will be drawn.
Google suggests in
a demo video that you’ll be able to use this to check out traffic conditions, get a current localized weather report, or find out why those people outside your window are making enough noise to wake the dead.
Latest results live views are currently only available for the newly-added Hot Topics on
Google Trends, and are somewhat sporadic: I can see the hottest results from people who are fascinated by the latest development in Tiger Woods’s life, but not for the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference. So Google once again provides a fascinating insight into what humanity deems important.
If you’re interested in other forms of potential Armageddon, Google also announced
Google Goggles on Monday—a technology which clearly will be used to build the first Terminators. Point your Android phone at something you want to search and take a picture; Goggles will parse the photo and search for the item you snapped.
This might not sound interesting until you hear what Google says it can do: look up a painting or landmark, add someone to your contact list with a picture of her business card, or—someday—take a picture of a chess board and have Google tell you what move to make. You don’t even need to take a picture to get restaurant reviews; point the camera at the front door, and Goggles will check that against your GPS coordinates to suggest whether you should order the chicken or steak.
Goggles is Android-only for now, but I’ll be shocked if this doesn’t land on the iPhone in record time. Latest results will be featured on a Google page near you shortly.