When Google launched Google Goggles in 2009 the service was cool, but still pretty limited. While there were lots of things you could search for just by taking a picture, there were lots more that the Google Goggles wouldn’t recognize. Since the launch, however, Google has been steadily increasing the number of things Google Goggles would recognize. They’ve added product bar codes, book and music covers, landmarks, logos, and even sudoku puzzles. Partnerships with museums – including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City – have put Google Goggles to use educating users.
Yesterday, Google announced the latest upgrade to Google Goggles: currency. Now you can take pictures of over 45,000 kinds of currency from more than 300 countries, and Google Goggles will recognize it. Once Google Goggles recognizes the currency, you can run a Google search or a Google Image search for it, and get further information.
The currency search is not without its limits, though: it only recognizes bills. I tried to get it to search for a U.S. quarter, but got no results. Searching for a $1 bill, however, works well. At the top of the Google search was a rundown of the basic information about the bill – when it was introduced, what it’s worth, and country of origin. The image search left pulled up a selection of images, as well as ordinary Google search results.
According to Google’s announcement, Google Goggles’ currency recognition includes money that is no longer in use, including pre-Euro European currencies like the lira and the franc. Google says they designed the service to be “helpful to travelers and any budding numismatists out there.”