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October 25, 2018

Google Lens’ Images feature recognizes objects you might want to buy

by John_A

Google’s artificial intelligence is getting better and better. The company first announced Google Lens, and artificial intelligence system for images and video, at Google I/O in 2017, but since then it has brought the tech to the Google Pixel camera, Google Assistant, and more. Now, Google Lens is being integrated into another Google service: Google Images.

This year has already been a big one for Google Images. Earlier, Google announced a redesign of Google Images, which aimed to use a new ranking algorithm to help users more easily find what they were looking for. Now, with Lens integration, Images is set to get even more helpful.

Similar to how Lens works in other Google services, the system will now be able to identify objects within images. With that knowledge, you will be able to “draw” around something you’re interested in or click on the dots related to an object in an image, after which Images will surface information about that object from around the web.

Lens in Images is also aimed at helping users more easily find things they’re interested in buying. The example Google gives is that you might find an image of a couch you like, but not know exactly what model it is or where to buy it from. You could then draw around the couch or click on the dot in the image, and then visit sites to learn more about the couch and potentially even buy it.

Google Lens in Images is now live on mobile in the U.S. in English but Google says it will soon roll out to other countries, languages, and platforms. In other words, expect it to show up on desktop at some point, even if it takes a few months.

Lens is likely to continue being integrated into other Google products. The service is already available in Google Assistant, which allows users to point Assistant at an object or location in real time, after which Assistant will surface information about the object or location. On top of that, you can find Lens in Google Photos, and in the Camera app on Google Pixel smartphones. It’s available on iOS, too, so if you’re an iPhone user, you can try Lens for yourself in the Google Assistant app.

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