Google Lens is an augmented reality technology in your phone that can help you learn more about the things you point your camera at. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai describes the Google Lens as “a set of vision-based computing capabilities that can understand what you're looking at and help you take action based on that information”. You don’t need to own a Google Pixel phone to have access to this new technology. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android device, Google Lens is accessible through the Google App which can be downloaded on the App store or the Play store. But what does this new technology mean for you in your everyday life? Here’s how Google Lens will transform your phone camera to give you a fresh perspective on the things around you.

Interact with text in the real world through your camera

Google Lens takes written text and gives you insights on that text. Through the Google Lens you can interact with book titles, business cards, and restaurant menus (to name a few examples). If you show your Google Lens a business card, then it can copy the text into your address book. If you show it the cover of a book, or an item from a restaurant menu it can bring up reviews and details about what it sees so you can make informed purchases. Another exciting text-related feature of Google Lens is its ability to translate languages into written English. If you’re travelling in a non-English speaking country, and see a sign that you can’t read, your Google Lens can translate the text into English before your very eyes.

Get the most out of fashion inspiration while you’re out and about

Have you ever seen an outfit and wondered where it comes from? Google Lens can recognise objects and clothing. So now you don’t have to find a way to describe what you saw on the street trying to find the same outfit online. Instead, you can show the outfit to your Google Lens and it will bring up the item of clothing for you along with prices and similar products. It turns a normal day on the street into a shopping opportunity.

Learn more about plants and animals that cross your path

Google Lens can identify dog breeds, cat breeds, plants, and more. The flora and fauna of the world is at your fingertips. It’s great news for all the dog lovers out there, now you finally have a way to find out the breed of all the adorable dogs you cross paths with. If you’re a green-thumb and want to know more about a mysterious plant that started growing in your back yard, point your camera at it and Google Lens can tell you.

Explore your city in a new way

Google Lens has access to the detailed database of information from Google Maps, which means it can become a useful tool when navigating the streets of your streets of the city. You can learn about the buildings around you. Point your camera at interesting architectural sites and your Google Lens can tell you what the building is along with other details about the building’s history and location.

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Compatible device required. ©2018 Google LLC All rights reserved. Google Lens™ is a trademark of Google LLC.

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Luke Ellery


Luke Ellery,

Luke is an enthusiastic writer with a background in creative writing and content marketing. He began his content journey in Auckland, managing a wedding blog. Luke considers himself a passionate grammarian and a thorough researcher; skills he undoubtedly picked up while completing his postgraduate studies in Ancient History. In his spare time, Luke peruses the specials aisle in the supermarket, and works to pay for the backyard that his future dogs deserve.