AI-powered computer vision in your pocket
Google is bringing its artificial intelligence-powered Lens tool to all Pixel and Pixel 2 phones in the coming weeks as part of an update to Google Assistant, the company announced today in a blog post. Lens, which was first unveiled back in May at the company’s I/O developer conference, is an computer vision system that lets you point your Pixel or Pixel 2 camera at an object and get information about it in real time, as the AI-powered algorithm is capable of recognizing real-world items.
Lens was first made available within Google Photos last month as part of the Pixel 2 launch, and now Google says Lens will soon arrive as a built-in feature of Google Assistant starting in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, India, and Singapore “in the coming weeks,” the blog post reads.
Right now, Lens won’t be able to identify everything around you. Google says it’s best used on simple items to start. It can identify text, for when you want to save information from business cards, save a URL from a poster or flier, call a phone number written down on paper, or open Google Maps with directions to a written address. Lens can also identify notable landmarks and can pull up information websites and media for art, books, and movies by pointing the camera at film posters, book covers, and museum installations.
Lens also works as a more efficient barcode and QR code scanner. Down the line, Google says Lens will only improve as it learns more about our surroundings and becomes more adept at identifying people, objects, and any manner of other things in the real world.