09 March 2020
Google Search and Google Lens are two of the most powerful, faster, and smarter search tools out there. Both these are about to get more useful as they are now getting improved visual search features with augmented reality (AR) support. There are different ways visual search will be helping users which were demonstrated at Google I/O 2019.
Starting with Google Search, users will now be able to see 3D models in AR along with the usual text and video search results. Google showed demonstrations of search queries made about muscle flexion and great white shark. AR models are aimed at helping users to experience things in "reality" for a better understanding as compared to simply reading something. For those who search for a product like a shoe, they can check the AR model to see what it might look in reality and how it goes with their existing wardrobe.
Google said that it is currently working with partners like New Balance, NASA, Samsung, Visible Body, and Target to deliver as many AR models as possible. This means you will be seeing those models for select search queries but it should expand with time.
Google Lens is also getting new visual search features to make it better than what it already is. It can be used to point the phone's camera at a restaurant menu to instantly see what are the popular dishes and check reviews. It saves the time taken to check the menu and then look for dishes and reviews online where each step needs to be done manually. Once the eating part is done, users can scan the bill receipt to split the bill instantly.
Google has added real-time language translation to Lens. It means once you point the camera at any text, Lens will automatically detect the language and translate to the language chosen by the user. But the best part of the announcement is Lens integration to Google Go. It is aimed at helping users who can't read at all or have difficulties in reading any language. They can point the camera to a text and Lens will read it out loud while pointing out the exact words in real-time.
There is language translation for obvious reasons. Since it is Google Go and Android Go we are talking about, Lens in Google Go is just about 100KB and is compatible with even a $50 smartphone.