Updated: 24th May 2017

Google Lens: Search the Web With Your Smartphone’s Camera by @MattGSouthern

Google’s I/O conference concluded this week, and if there’s one thing people will be talking about long after it’s over it’s Google Lens.

Google Lens is a technology that integrates Google’s search engine with a smartphone’s camera. By taking a photo with Google Lens your camera will be able to recognize objects and search for them on the web.

It goes deeper than that though, as CEO Sundar Pichai’s keynote went on some further examples were shown.

Another demo Pichai showed off involved connecting to a WiFi network after taking a picture of the name and password.

A further search-related example involving taking a picture of a restaurant menu in a foreign language. Google Lens returned both a translated version of the menu and pictures of the dishes.

Google Lens can also tap into information from Google My Business and Google Maps. After taking a picture of a restaurant you can see its reviews, hours of operation, contact information, and so on.

There was also a demo of how Google Lens would work together with Google Assistant. After taking a picture of the marquee outside a venue, Google Assistant offered help with buying tickets and adding the event to Google Calendar.

No timeframe was given as to when Google Lens is expected to launch, but when it does it will not be a standalone app. Pichai said Google Lens would be available through Google Assistant and Google Photos.

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Author: Matt Southern

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