What’s Google Lens and the way does it work?

(Pocket-lint) – Google Lens is an AI-powered know-how that makes use of your smartphone digicam and deep machine studying to not solely detect an object in entrance of the digicam lens, however perceive it and supply actions comparable to scanning, translation, purchasing, and extra.

Lens was one in every of Google’s largest bulletins in 2017, and a Google Pixel unique function when that cellphone launched. Since then, Google Lens has come to the vast majority of Android units – if you do not have it, then the app is accessible to obtain on Google Play.

What’s Google Lens?

Google Lens allows you to level your cellphone at one thing, comparable to a selected flower, after which ask Google Assistant what the item you are pointing at is. You may not solely be informed the reply, however you will get solutions based mostly on the item, like close by florists, within the case of a flower.


Different examples of what Google Lens can do embody with the ability to take an image of the SSID sticker on the again of a Wi-Fi router, after which your cellphone will mechanically hook up with the Wi-Fi community with out you needing to do anything. Yep, no extra crawling below the cabinet in an effort to learn out the password while typing it in your cellphone. Now, with Google Lens, you possibly can actually level and shoot.

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Google Lens will recognise eating places, golf equipment, cafes, and bars, too, presenting you with a pop-up window exhibiting opinions, tackle particulars and opening occasions. It is the flexibility to recognise on a regular basis objects that is spectacular. It’s going to recognise a hand and recommend the thumbs up emoji, which is a little bit of enjoyable, however level it at a drink, and it’ll attempt to work out what it’s.

We examined this performance with a glass of white wine. It did not recommend white wine to us, however it did recommend a complete vary of different alcoholic drinks, letting you then faucet by to see what they’re, how one can make them, and so forth. That exhibits that, whereas Lens is quick and intelligent, it isn’t all the time correct.

We have additionally examined it with many backyard vegetation and located it a extremely helpful manner of discovering out what you may have rising.

What can Google Lens do?

Except for the situations described above, Google Lens affords the next options:

  • Translate: You’ll be able to level your cellphone at textual content and, with Google Translate plugging in, dwell translate textual content in entrance of your very eyes. This will additionally work offline. 
  • Good Textual content Choice: You’ll be able to level your cellphone’s digicam at textual content, then spotlight that textual content inside Google Lens, and replica it to make use of in your cellphone. So, as an illustration, think about pointing your cellphone at a Wi-Fi password and with the ability to copy/paste it right into a Wi-Fi login display screen.
  • Good Textual content search: Whenever you spotlight textual content in Google Lens, you too can search that textual content with Google. That is useful if you could search for a definition of phrase, as an illustration.
  • Buying: Should you see a gown you want whereas purchasing, Google Lens can establish that piece and related articles of clothes. This works for almost any merchandise you possibly can consider, accessing purchasing or opinions.
  • Google homework questions: That is proper, you possibly can simply scan the query and see what Google comes up with.
  • Search round you: Should you level your digicam round you, Google Lens will detect and establish your environment. That may be particulars on a landmark or particulars about kinds of meals – together with recipes.

How does Google Lens work?

Google Lens app

Google has a standalone app on Android for Google Lens if you wish to get straight into the options. You’ll be able to entry Google Lens by a complete vary of different strategies, as detailed under.

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The expertise is analogous whichever method you are taking; tapping the Lens icon in Google Assistant takes you thru to the identical view you get instantly within the Lens app.

Google Photographs

Inside Google Photographs, Google Lens can establish buildings or landmarks, as an illustration, presenting customers with instructions and opening hours for them. It’s going to additionally have the ability to current data on a well-known murals. Perhaps it should clear up the talk of whether or not the Mona Lisa is smiling or not.

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When looking your footage in Google Photographs, you will see the Google Lens icon within the backside of the window. Tapping on the icon will see the scanning dots showing on you image after which Google will serve up solutions.

Digicam app

In some Android telephones Google Lens has been been instantly added to the gadget’s personal digicam app. It may be within the ‘Extra’ part, however will differ relying on producer and person interface.

On the iPhone

If you wish to entry Google Lens on the iPhone you may get it by way of the Google app. This app covers a spread of Google providers that are native on Android units. As soon as you’ve got put in the app, you possibly can head to the Google Lens part, grant permission for it to entry your iPhone digicam and off you go – you will get all of the options above.

Which units supply Google Lens?

Should you’re an Android gadget person, you possibly can entry the app. Nonetheless, there are some exceptions, such because the banned-from-Google-Providers telephones comparable to these from Huawei – so it is value checking on Google Play to see if you may get it.

It is also obtainable on iPhone or iPad as detailed above.

What’s subsequent for Google Lens?

On condition that Google Lens represents the slicing fringe of digicam know-how and Google’s implementation of it, there are continuously small updates and rumoured options for the app on the horizon.

With huge availability on Android units and on iPhone too, there’s all the time one thing to find with Google Lens.

Extra about this story

This text was initially printed in 2017 and has been up to date to mirror altering data.

Writing by Chris Corridor and Britta O’Boyle.

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