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Google Goggles Blind Spot

Google Goggles is an impressive bit of software. It’s hard to describe all it can do, but I think if it had legs it would probably travel back in time and kill John Connor. It uses the camera in your phone (Android or iPhone) to recognise things with a spooky accuracy. I showed it a £10 note – it showed me pictures of other £10 notes. I showed it a copy of Simon Singh’s Code Book and it recognised that. I thought “Ah, but books have titles – it’s just OCR” so it covered up the words and it still got it right. It isn’t always spot on – I showed it a Green Lantern action figure and it brought up a selection of DC Action figures, but it’s often scary. Show it some text and it’ll offer to translate into a large range of languages. Show it a sudoku and it’ll not only recognise it for what it is, it’ll offer to solve it for you. Now I have nothing to do over breakfast.

But I’ve found one blind spot in its repertoire. It can recognise logos very well – except the Apple logo. I’ve tried the logo on my iPad, the box it came in, the box of an Apple keyboard and a copy of the logo from Wikipedia. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. “No close image matches found.” How could this be? At first I thought it was just Google getting at Apple – but they’ve released Goggles for the iPhone.

I can’t see a reason. Can you?

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