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The Future Of Visual Search

Monday, December 3rd, 2018


Ever seen someone in the street with the perfect jumper or wanted to know more about that interesting building you walk past every morning on your way to work? How do you find out more information other than typing keywords into Google and hoping that the vague terms you’re using brings up what you’re looking for? Google Lens, first introduced in 2017, is one of the latest innovative tool from Google, that means that instead of typing in a text query, you can use your phone camera to quickly identify objects with text-based information. This technology was originally a Google Pixel exclusive but is now available to download on Android and IOS devices as a stand-alone app and may become standard across certain Android phones.

What is Visual Search?

Visual search is distinct from image search, but there is a certain amount of overlap between the two technologies. Image search is designed to give images as results when individuals put a keyword or image into a search engine. Visual Search refers to a method of searching the physical world using a smartphone using image recognition technology to identify what is being shown. Google Lens uses powerful A.I with deep machine learning to provide information about things in your daily life that you didn’t even realise that you needed information about! It uses this information to not only identify what the object is but also understanding the context of the subject and offers actions based on what is detected. While in its infancy, this technology can only focus on a single object, but in the future, it will be able to be able to identify each component part of a wider ‘landscape’.

What can Google Lens Do?

One of the aims of this new tool is to make it easier for consumers to buy things, especially if they’re already interested in buying an object. If you see a dress that you like while shopping, Google Lens can identify it and give you relevant reviews and shopping options. The technology use by Google Lens isn’t perfect yet, and Google admits that this method of searching words best with books, movie posts, and art. It’s also a handy tool because of the Smart Text Functions that allow you to highlight text and copy it to your phone with ease. You can also search the text that you found with your Google Lens with Google Assistant- making the whole searching process as easy as possible.

Is It Worth Using?

Google Lens is a search tool that is still in its infancy and at this moment only has limited capabilities, but it shows a lot of promise for the future. The AI that Google uses has deep learning capabilities which means that we can only expect more from the Google Lens in the future.