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January 10, 2011

Google Goggles Solves Sudoku Puzzles

Google's visual search tool has a new trick up its sleeve: solving Sudoku puzzles. Google Goggles 1.3 for Android scans barcodes much faster, recognizes print ads from the major U.S. magazines and newspapers, but most people will probably ignore those useful features and will try to see if Goggles can actually solve Sudoku puzzles. The nice thing is that this feature also works in the latest version of Google Mobile App for iPhone, along with print ads recognition.

"Now, Goggles on Android and iPhone can recognize puzzles and provide answers to help make you faster than a Sudoku champ. So if you ever get stuck, take a clear picture of the entire puzzle with Goggles and we'll tell you the correct solution," explains Google.

Maybe providing a hint would also be useful, especially if you want to solve the puzzle.

The new features show that Google Goggles has a lot of potential, but it's still not useful enough in the real world. An interesting article from Xconomy quotes Hartmut Neven, Google's technical lead manager for image recognition, who says that Goggles is not yet an universal visual search tool. "What keeps me awake at night is, 'What are the honest-to-God use cases that we can deliver,' where it's not just an 'Oh, wow.' We call it the bar of daily engagement. Can we make it useful enough that every day you will take out Goggles and do something with it?"


  1. I'm pretty impressed with the new capabilities, including the Sudoku. On the other hand, I can definitely see Mr. Neven's point on the utility factor.

    On a related note, how are Goggles different from or similar to NFC?

  2. No more being defeated by sudoku puzzles for me! What a great thing t create.

  3. this is absolutely amazing.

    I wish they created something similar for chess. You take a picture of the table and the app makes a recommendation for your next move.

  4. @adsf. I'm unsure how much one single picture would help in chess, since the game is dynamic, while, as I understand it, Sudoku is static.

  5. How it is possible to solve this game in limited time period.I think they apply some types of strategy

  6. Solving a Sudoku puzzle is a very simple problem for a computer using recursion. The part about this that is interesting isn't how the computer solves the Sudoku but rather how the computer interprets something in the real world, then does the computation, then overlays the results on the world view... amazing!

  7. @Neil. I enjoyed your comment, thanks for sharing.

    Do you have an answer to my original question, up top (1/10/11), about NFC v. Goggles?

  8. kind of takes the fun out of the game, doesn't it?

  9. When Goggles support Chess? It would be killer in chess world to scan diagram to FEN or PGN and copy it to chess appilcation in cellphone or tab