Google’s future is google lens


If you want to know where Google is headed, look through Google Lens.

The artificially intelligent, augmented reality feature seemed to generate the most interest at Google’s developer conference that wrapped up Friday. Of all announcements, it best encapsulated what Google’s transition to an “AI first” company means.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai underscored the tool as a key reflection of Google’s direction, highlighting it in his Google I/O keynote as an example of Google being at an “inflection point with vision.”

“All of Google was built because we started understanding text and web pages. So the fact that computers can understand images and videos has profound implications for our core mission,” he said in his introduction of Lens.

The feature is first being added to Google Photos and the personalized AI software Assistant, which is available on an increasing number of devices. Lens uses machine learning to examine photos viewed through your phone’s camera, or on saved photos on your phone, and can use the images to complete tasks.

A few things Lens can do:

  • Tell you what species a flower is just by viewing the flower through your phone’s camera;
  • Read a complicated Wi-Fi password through your phone’s camera and automatically log you into the network;
  • Offer you reviews and other information about the restaurant or retail store across the street, by you just flashing your camera over the physical place.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai Opens I/O Developer ConferencePhoto by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Lens was a favorite of several Google I/O attendees for its clear utility. It’s the kind of feature that could make the apps that contain it more uniquely useful. One developer commented to me it was “the first time AI is more than a gimmick.”

Typing a question into Assistant, for example, can feel like just using Google Search in a separate window. Add this new computer vision capability, though, and you have something a browser search box can’t do.

Lens brings Google’s use of AI into the physical world. It effectively acts as a search box, and shows Google’s adaption to the move amongst younger users toward visual media. That preference has made social network Snap a magnet for younger users, who prefer to communicate with pictures over text.

Lens affirms a consistency of focus for Google. Here is augmented reality at work doing exactly what people know Google can do, which is retrieve information from the web.

But in considering how this new visual search option may play out, compare it to voice search, which for now often returns read-outs of whatever would appear at the top of search, sometimes resulting in answers that are inaccurate, offensive or lacking in context.

Google also cleverly incorporated Lens into one of the company’s most-used apps, Photos, which has gained half a billion users in the two years since its launch. The incorporation could help Google become more essential to mobile users by making its mobile apps more essential. That means Google will have a place on users’ phones even if its own hardware like the Pixel phone fails to catch on.

Pichai said in his founders’ letter a year ago that part of this shift to being an AI first company meant computing would be less device-centric. Lens is an example of being less device-centric, on mobile.

The technology behind Lens is essentially nothing new, and that also tells us something about where Google is going. This is not to say that Google is done coming up with new technologies, but that there are a lot of capabilities the company is still putting together into useful products.

You can watch Sundar Pichai’s entire keynote from this year’s Google I/O below.


  1. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by
    him as nobody else know such detailed about my
    trouble. You are amazing! Thanks!

  2. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I
    could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping
    maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  3. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your
    article seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.

    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser
    compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.
    The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed
    soon. Kudos

  4. My family every time say that I am wasting my time here at net, except I know I am getting knowledge everyday by reading thes good articles
    or reviews.

  5. hello there and thank you for your info – I have certainly picked up anything
    new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical issues using this web site,
    since I experienced to reload the web site lots
    of times previous to I could get it to load correctly.

    I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I
    am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement
    in google and can damage your high-quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords.

    Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content.
    Make sure you update this again very soon.

  6. This article offers clear idea designed for the new visitors of blogging, that truly how to
    do blogging and site-building.

  7. Hurrah, that’s what I was seeking for, what a data! present here at this web site, thanks admin of this
    web site.

  8. Howdy I am so delighted I found your weblog, I really found you by accident,
    while I was researching on Google for something else, Regardless I am here now
    and would just like to say many thanks for a fantastic post and a
    all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over
    it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I
    have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the excellent b.

  9. I know this web site presents quality depending articles or reviews and extra data, is
    there any other site which gives these data in quality?

  10. Great blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m
    a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with
    a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option?
    There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused
    .. Any recommendations? Thanks!

  11. Your style is very unique compared to other people I have read stuff from.
    Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity,
    Guess I will just bookmark this web site.

  12. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let
    you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading
    correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

  13. Wow, this article is good, my sister is analyzing these kinds
    of things, therefore I am going to let know her.

  14. Somebody essentially help to make critically posts I might state.
    This is the first time I frequented your web page and so far?
    I amazed with the research you made to make this particular post amazing.
    Great activity!

  15. Hello there, I do believe your web site could be having web browser compatibility issues.
    When I take a look at your blog in Safari,
    it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer,
    it’s got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up!

    Besides that, excellent blog!

  16. Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.

    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but
    I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure
    where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions?
    With thanks

  17. I really wanted to compose a simple comment to appreciate you for these fantastic items you are showing here. My prolonged internet investigation has finally been compensated with high-quality suggestions to exchange with my good friends. I would declare that many of us readers are rather endowed to live in a really good community with many brilliant individuals with beneficial opinions. I feel extremely lucky to have discovered the site and look forward to plenty of more brilliant minutes reading here. Thank you again for a lot of things.

  18. There are four indicators to discover whether you are buying
    a jelly rubber or PVC composite toy:. Life in Best Served Cold isn’t simple; it is not
    good versus evil. Dildo strap on After that, I never carried my money within the same place, I always
    broke it, should I got hit, I wouldn’t lose everything.

    Again, make certain to know the best way to do this before you decide to install it,
    in the event it leads to a problem together with your game.

    I might be in a position to bring in Rudolph Valentino Clay aka Rahaman Ali for half that amount plus two camels
    to search.

  19. I simply want to say I am just newbie to blogging and certainly savored you’re blog site. Likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You definitely have remarkable articles and reviews. Cheers for sharing your blog.

  20. If you desire to improve your knowledge only keep visiting this website and be updated with the most recent gossip posted here.

  21. I am curious to find out what blog system you have been working with?

    I’m having some small security problems with my latest blog and I would like to find something more safeguarded.
    Do you have any recommendations?

  22. UhhCW5 The acetone and consultation need in each history and may be painless but however recently clinical.

  23. I simply want to say I am just beginner to blogging and site-building and truly savored this web site. Most likely I’m want to bookmark your site . You certainly come with terrific articles and reviews. Many thanks for revealing your website page.

  24. hi!,I love your writing so much! share we keep up a correspondence more approximately your post on AOL? I need a specialist on this area to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Having a look forward to see you.

  25. You really make it seem really easy along with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually one thing which I believe I might never understand. It seems too complicated and very extensive for me. I am taking a look ahead on your subsequent put up, I¡¦ll try to get the grasp of it!