a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Google can help your love life

By Scott Beveridge

Google has found a way to help a dork with a smart phone improve his dating skills.

This uncultured guy first needs to download and learn how to operate a Google Goggles app on his phone, preferably an Android, before escorting his love interest to a fancy restaurant and ordering a bottle of good California wine.

He patiently waits until she leaves the table to powder her nose. Then he sneaks out his phone and launches the image recognition app to snap a photo of the wine bottle. Google Goggles scans the image and searches the wine on the Internet without his needing to even type a single word into a search engine.

Armed with new knowledge of said wine this guy can then impress his date after she returns to the table with recommendations on whether or not it would pair well with the apple wood smoked pork ribs or the Chili crusted salmon on the menu.

Google launched this product about a year ago, and actually suggests this maneuver in toned-down phrasing on its Google Goggle website.

In recent weeks, the app has been showing up across the web as having been rated among the best 2010 smart phone apps out there by people who think they best know such things.

That news was enough to encourage me to play with that toy on my new verizon wireless Droid X by Motorola. It's recommended for searches of such things as landmarks, books, artwork, wine and logos.

Sure it easily recognized a Miller Lite draft tap the other day and the $20 bill I laid on the bar.

But the next day it found no matches for the landmark Old Main building at California University of Pennsylvania, and later identified my Twitter feed on my computer as blog comments. Close enough. The app had no problem, either, identifying the photo, above, of the White House. There is no doubt, either, this app would instantly recognize the Internet celebrity known as iJustine, a native of Scenery Hill, Pa.

And for fun today, I used the app to photograph two friends, including one guy whose face is all over the web.

The closest match it found for my female lunch companion inside a Panera was a hot model with an umbrella in France.

"I'll take that," my friend replied.

And then the app identified my male friend as someone close to looking like either the black American rapper known as Lil Wayne or a skull. That friend is white and very much alive.

In all fairness to Google, this app is fun to play with and quite remarkable. And the company admits the service is "not quite perfect yet."

It also has intrigued just about everyone I have shown it to this week.

No comments: