Google Goggles – mind goggling application
We’re reaching a tipping point in mobile technology where the apps on your phone are better than the apps on your computer. One knockout application (killer apps are passe), and the one with massive potential in education and training, is Google Goggles. It’s a visual search tool on your phone. No more typing or voicing in your request – just point and click.
Point your camera at any object in the real world; a building, landmark, object, painting, business card, shop, food, car, plant, animal etc. Google will shoot back an identification, explanation or further details and links.
Google Goggles and learning
Let’s take this one step further. Imagine a world where, whenever you’re stuck on a problem, a tricky maths problem, balancing a chemical equation, identifying a tree from its leaves, translating an awkward word or phrase in a Shakespeare play, translating a word or phrase from another language, getting a word for an object in a foreign language, the painter of a painting. In the future this applications has the potential to provide help whenever there is something in the real or represented world that you can point to. This is the phone as performance support.
It’s a window into a future where performance support will be linked to just pointing your phone. Want to know what chess move to make – point and click. Want to know where to plant that plant you’ve just bought, how to repair that hole in your wall, set up that electronic device you’ve just bought? Point and click.
Android as teacher
The next level is not the provision of learning experiences directly related to that object. Rather than provide the direct answer or short solution, there may be a mode where you get tutored support or suggestions on how to get the right answer. The phone as a supportive teacher.
It's an application that has so many uses for both learner and teacher.
Android v Apple
Apple may have won the immediate battle but Android will win the war. Android’s an operating system not a proprietary device. It opens up the market and opportunities, not close them down. This is good for education and learning. The projections for iPhone growth are good, but for the Android they’re better. It’s that old adage about being second in a market being better. The development community is huge and code is written in Java. And with App Inventor, the Android market opens up application development to a much wider community that serious coders.
This is a related augmented reality app that provides layers of useful information over any real scene you point your phone at. Layar is useful for details about locations as well as information on nearest tube stations and so on.
I'm working on an app called Beer Goggles - you take a photo of yourself or anyone you know. It first makes them a little thinner, then younger, then more physically attractive with every new snap.