The days of Sudoku could be numbered, thanks to Google. The puzzle that took the world by storm with its simple grid of digits and empty boxes can now be solved instantly by any mobile phone – no matter what the level of difficulty.
A newly updated mobile phone application, called Google Goggles, uses a phone’s camera to capture a picture of any Sudoku puzzle and then sends it back to Google.
The company’s servers compute the answers and send an image of the completed puzzle back to the user. Depending on the speed of the phone’s internet connection, the results can be back in seconds.
Phil McNeill, the Daily Telegraph’s Puzzles Editor said the move was “a sad day” for puzzle fans. “When you finally solve a real mind-bender, it brings a rush of achievement. I hope Google's new tool won't diminish that feeling,” he said.
Google Goggles works by capturing images and sending them to the company’s central servers. They are then compared to the firm’s vast web index, just as if they were a search term entered as text.
The new version of Goggles means that, along with landmarks and other well known images, the software now also recognises adverts, barcodes and Sudoku.
The application’s main function, however, is for price comparison information and general web searching. Goggles is available on the iPhone and all Google Android phones.