One of the things I love best about the Internet and its many innovations is how it makes you feel as if the future has arrived now – and that’s a feeling that seems to occur every week or so. Just when we’ve become complacent about all the little things that make our life easier – search engines, cloud computing, wifi, and online shopping to name but a few – something new comes along and reawakens our sense of wonder.

Google’s Goggles is a prime example. At first, it seems like a novelty. Then, you start to understand its potential. At the same time, you wonder if, as with so many Internet phenomena, the full power of the application may not be understood until it’s been around for some time.

The idea is simple: take a picture of almost anything with your phone, and use the Goggles app to identify it. If it’s a well-known landmark, it will deliver tourist information; a book and it will tell you its publication details; an address (say on a letterhead) and it’ll invite you to add it to your phone’s contacts. Amazing – and, maybe, the future of how we will search?