Imagine a scenario where you are walking through your favourite store and an item catches your attention. You pull out your smart phone and take a picture of it and a description pops up with details on the manufacturer, retail pricing and much more.
Or a scenario where you traveled for vacation to a country you have never been to and you come across several interesting landmarks, buildings, statues you probably have only heard before or seen on the internet or television and you wish there was a way you could get a detailed dossier/information about these landmarks/buildings. You snap a picture of it with your phone and you’re immediately presented with the details of what you’re looking at.
A bit farther down the street you see a sign written in a different language, say maybe French or Chinese, so you photograph it and your phone provides you with the English translation or any translation of your choice.
Sound like something out of a science fiction movie? Well, it isn’t. This technology is available right now, and it’s absolutely free. Just download a free app called Google Lens and you will be doing just this type of thing in minutes! Google Lens can recognise over a billion items in the world around us. That’s four times as many things that the AI-powered feature could identify when it was first launched last year, thanks partly to a huge number of Google Shopping products which have been added to its knowledge base. While its optical character recognition engine has been optimized to read more product labels, Google has also honed its machine learning and AI to recognize more animals, including common pet breeds. In addition, you can use Lens to get more information about places as well as word definitions and translations of words. Google Lens can now also recognize people, Wi-Fi network names for auto-connecting, and geometric shapes. And if it isn’t sure what an object is, it will offer up similar photos that match.
You can download Google Lens for free from the Google Play Store.
To use Google Lens on Apple devices (iOS or ipadOS), you simply open the Google App and in the search box, tap the Lens icon to the left of the microphone in the Search bar. Tap the blue button that says Turn on camera to use Lens and Tap OK in the permissions alert to allow Google to access your camera.