What is it?
Google Lens is an AI and AR powered image recognition feature/application by Google that identifies, detects, interacts, and learns from objects, through its machine learning algorithm. Now a feature that has extended to all smartphones, the Google Lens can help your phone’s camera become smarter. Simply point your camera at any object and the app will use its Google search functionalities as its power to provide you with the information you want.
How does it work?
First launched in 2017, Google Lens predominantly worked with Google Assistant and was only available on Google Pixel phones. Now available on a majority of Android smartphones from Samsung, Sony, LG, HMD/Nokia and more, and recently announced to be available on Apple’s iOS devices, it’s safe to say that this feature will soon be available to everyone.
If you own a Google Pixel phone, you can use Google Lens within the saved images in your phone. All you have to do is click on your desired image and tap the Google Lens icon at the bottom of the screen. The app will recognize the image and will provide you with information accordingly. For example, let’s say you have an image of Petra, Jordan’s famous archaeological site; Google Lens will provide you with information regarding the historical site, its opening hours, and possible ways and directions to get there.
As obvious as this may sound, you can use Google Lens directly through the app itself. All you have to do is download the app, but as of now depending on your location and whether your smartphone supports it or not, you will have to use the app through Google Assistant. You will actually experience the exact same powers of this feature as Google Lens is basically embedded into Google Assistant.
Some Android phones now include the Google Lens option at the bottom of their screens. This is perfectly convenient for those on the move who’d like to take a picture on the go and gain access to information much faster. The feature is surprisingly remarkable as it makes all things possible - all you have to do is point and shoot and gain access to all the answers you need.
What can Google Lens do?
Right now, Google Lens is basically a small part of the big picture of what is yet to come in the future of smartphones and technology. We are living in modern times where technology is a positive function in making discovery possible and right now Google Lens is on the journey to learning and providing us with information we need with answers to questions that we can’t express by typing. You can expect numerous capabilities when it comes to using this platform.
Identify and recognize objects and cars
You’re walking down the street and you spot a car you like but you’re not familiar with the model. This is when the app comes in very handy. It not only recognizes the car model but conveys how much it costs and the nearby locations you could purchase the car from if you’re interested in buying a car.
Identify books and movies
Another scenario where Google Lens can be very helpful is acquiring information on books and movies. Simply point your camera at any book cover or movie poster and you’ll get all the information you need: from synopsis, to reviews, cast and crew, and anything else in between. All this makes your purchasing decisions much easier.
You’re in a museum admiring paintings of famous artists; Google Lens will identify the paintings and provide with background information of each one. This is certainly the best way to learn on the spot.
Identify text through Smart Text
Let’s imagine you’re a at a French restaurant skimming through the menu when you glance at a food item you don’t know. With Google Lens’ Smart text feature, you’ll be able to scan the page and highlight the food item you want to translate and search for. You can then go further as to get the ingredients of your meal if you have certain allergies to particular foods. In fact, the AI powered app automatically recognizes when there is text on the page.
What’s more, Google Lens can copy text from any book or document in the real world and then save them within your smartphone’s clipboard or notes. You won’t have to waste time writing or typing; simply copy and paste from the real world straight into your phone.
Identify business cards
We are living in a fast-paced world and with that sometimes we forget to save important contact information of people we meet. Next time someone hands you their business card, simply place Google Lens over it and it will automatically identify and save all the details in your contacts. Life couldn’t be simpler.
Connect to a Wi-fi network
One of its hyped features that Google Lens unveiled is the app’s ability to automatically connect to a Wi-fi network. Simply point the camera to an SSID sticker or a paper with the Wi-fi network’s username and password and it will connect to the internet for you.
If you take a picture of a flyer or poster with a date on it, Google Lens will recognize that and requests to add the event to your calendar.
Shop with Google Lens
You’re out shopping, and you come across a pair of boots you like, but unfortunately can’t afford. Once you slide Google Lens over the item, it will provide you with boots similar to the ones you saw with the best deals, so you can purchase them straightaway.
Translation on the go
This is quite the most handy feature ever brought to you by Google Lens. You can literally shoot and copy text from the real world and translate it on the go. Definitely useful as it is swift in giving you what you need.
Although still in its infancy, Google is certainly heading in the right direction. Its primary goal is to help you learn on the go and remember significant happenings and occasions around you. This is definitely a step forward in our young and modern digital era and we can’t wait to see where we will head from there.