Algorithm which knows what’s in your photos – Google Lens
13 Jun 2017

Algorithm which knows what’s in your photos – Google Lens

13 Jun 2017

This year at Google I/O conference, Google launched “Google Lens”.

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.”

What is Google Lens?

Google Lens is a set of vision-based computing capabilities that allows your smartphone to understand what’s going on in a photo, video or live feed. New AI technology that allows users to discover and interact with the world around them through visuals. It is also a new way to connect with consumers across Google products.

During a demo, Google showed off how you could point your camera at something and Lens tells you what is it. So in the demo is shown:

  • Identify subject — like, it could identify the flower you’re preparing to shoot.
  • Connecting you to a home’s Wi-Fi network by snapping a photo of the sticker on the router – it could identify that it’s looking at a network’s name and password, then offer you the option to tap a button and connect automatically.
  • Photo of a business’s storefront — and it could pull up name, rating and other business listing information in a card that appeared over the photo.

“We’ll first be bringing Google Lens capabilities to the Assistant and Google Photos and you can expect it to make its way to other products as well.”
– CEO Sundar Pichai

…with Google Assistant

Within Google Assistant, users will be able to tap the Google Lens icon, point their smartphone camera outside of cinema and find out show times

…with Google Photos

Within Google Photos, it will be able to identify buildings or landmarks, for example, presenting users with directions and opening hours for them. It will also be able to present information on a famous work of art.

Google didn’t specify when Google Lens would arrive on Android smartphones but we will let you know as soon as we hear more.


The technology basically turns the camera from a passive tool that’s capturing the world around you to one that’s allowing you to interact with what’s in your camera’s viewfinder.


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