Google’s wine goggles


Google has rolled out a cool new feature called Google Goggles that allows search by sight–take a picture of an object with your cameraphone Android phone and it will tell you more info on it. TechCrunch reported from the demo yesterday in Mountain View:

The example that Google VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra showed on stage involved taking a picture of a particular bottle of wine. When he ran it through Google Goggles, the result showed that the particular bottle has a hint of apricots.

Awesome! The only issue is that if he picked up the bottle of Argentine Malbec depicted in the images above that would be a major FAIL. (Maybe the system just didn’t take “saddle leather” as a serious descriptor. Or maybe he had a different wine on-stage–come on TechCrunch, we need the wine intel!) The technology may have a few bumps but this sort of optical label and character recognition could potentially revolutionize wine shopping and managing wine cellar inventory. (hat tip, Eric)

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19 Responses to “Google’s wine goggles”

  1. I’m pretty sure he had a different bottle on stage 🙂

  2. Thanks Tyler,
    I asked Google where the “apricot” notes came from in that demo.
    This is what they said,

    >> Eric –

    When Vic searched using a photo of the wine label, Google Goggles came back with a couple of results for “Pepperwood grove riesling”. Quite a few of the top results had tasting notes which noted that the wine had ‘hints of apricots’. I am attaching a subset of the top few results pages that had tasting notes for this wine:–pepperwood_grove

    Hope that helps.


  3. Thanks, Eric. But did they pour the Pepperwood Grove Riesling or did the Goggles just return that info for the the malbec? 😉

    Interesting that the three results they sent you aren’t the first three text search results I see on a search for Pepperwood Grove Riesling (bizrate doesn’t show up in the top ten). I guess results vary somewhat but it would be interesting to know, at least generally, the data source for the Goggles results and how they differ, if at all, from a normal text search. It will be fun to try out the new program at some point…

  4. Why on earth would anyone want to see web search results when scanning a bottle? This is typical braindead google thinking. People want prices (wine-searcher) and tasting notes (from a myriad of paid services, and maybe cellartracker). That’s it. And keep your ads to yourselves, please.

  5. I’m pretty certain that the demo wine mentioned in the article is not the same as the Malbec in the graphic.

    I am also fairly certain that as a “demo” there is more yet to come. As Joe notes, pricing will be first and would be the place to start. Recently shopping for wine here in PA, I found a “Close-out” bin with what seemed to be good bargains. I used my Pre to look up the wines online and while it was somewhat clunky, having to type in for both “reviews” and pricing to get an idea on whether to buy (they were not bargains), the experience would be vastly improved by the ability to point and shoot the label, or perhaps the barcode.

    Reviews will be tougher. will work if Eric is able to craft a formula from his data, but that seems a daunting task.

    But, “keep your ads to yourselves, please.”

    That epitomizes the difficulty of making a living online. It’s all supposed to be free, right Joe?

    Whether it’s Google,, or anyone else, FREE is an IMPOSSIBLE business model to maintain.


  6. Would you personally use this, and if so, how? While in a wine shop?

  7. […] ya es ciencia ficción es el que se ha publicado en Dr. Vino y la nueva aplicación para el movil Google’s wine goggles la verdad que es muy […]

  8. EVO – I agree that there needs to be a solid (if not profitable) business model. My point was that the Google model of always monetizing through search-connected-ads does not work here.

    An iPhone style model in which a dedicated app accesses information you actually need (from the aforementioned sources) will work much better for the user, AND can be financially viable.

  9. […] that I consider that already it is like a science fiction is the one post that was published in Dr. Vino, it is about the new application for the mobile Google’s wine […]

  10. Joe – I agree that Google search results for a wine may not be entirely what wine enthusiasts want (tasting notes and/or comparative price shopping). But the optical recognition step is huge. Given the huge number of existing wine labels optical recognition may seem like an insurmountable challenge to another developer. But the range of things google goggles apparently recognizes shows that it might not be that difficult for them. Again, it would be fun to demo the product.

  11. I will have the chance to check it out on my brother’s Android tomorrow. I will let you know. Maybe we can video a demo.


  12. Optical recognition is actually pretty standard nowadays. Here’s a fantastic demo of how it can be used to help consumers in real life (meaning, to actually help users, not to sell ads 🙂

    I do agree with your meta-point of course, such technology can greatly help when harnessed properly. Cheers!

  13. I think this technology has amazing potential, I would love a functional system like this when I’m selecting a wine, imagine the uses of it for finding antiques at charity shops and boot sales.

  14. […] of these technologies is a game changer for collectors or even casual wine drinkers, keep an eye on Google Goggles, introduced last week. Optical recognition just took a leap beyond barcodes with this technology. […]

  15. […] Reality: Su questa già ci siamo sopra, vedi Gambero Rosso per i Ristoranti o Google con i suoi Goggles per il vino (capaci teoricamente di dirci tutto su ogni etichetta che incontriamo), e già abbiamo (proprio qui […]

  16. […] interessante, ho avuto modo di avere un’anteprima di cosa ci riserverà il futuro. Tramite Google’s wine googles si potrà avere una lettura da body scanner per quasi tutti i vini. Il progresso avanza […]

  17. I may just have to upgrade to a smartphone yet! 🙂 I feel so archaic with an old clunker of a cell…wow guys, my phone actually can take a photo and never do anything after with it 😛

  18. What will they think of next? Now all they have to do is link it up with recommendations of what food goes well with that wine and they’re onto a winner in my book!

  19. there needs to be a solid (if not profitable) business model. The Google model of always monetizing through search-connected-ads does not work here. – See more at: http//


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