Google has officially announced the start of the roll out of Google Lens to all users of Pixel smartphone devices. Of course, this is as expected, considering that back in October earlier this year, the tech giant had confirmed that Google Lens would be coming to Pixel handsets as part of Google Assistant.
According to Google’s recent blog post, Google Lens should be rolling out to Pixel devices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and India, over the next few weeks. The company has stated that the deployment may take some time, but once the service has arrived, owners of Pixel units should be able to see the Google Lens logo displayed in the bottom right section of the Assistant screen. Before, Google Lens was made accessible by way of Google Photos, but that required people to shoot a photo first, then navigate to Google Photos, access that particular image, and then launch the Google Lens icon. This time around, the process is made so much easier.
It was back in May earlier this year when Google had first unveiled Google Lens, during the tech giant’s annual I/O developer conference. In a nutshell, Google Lens is a software platform that is capable of identifying objects, animals, landmarks, buildings, structures, and even text, as seen through the Pixel’s camera. Visual recognition is something that we humans often take for granted -- we are so used to identifying faces, reading letters, words and symbols, and recognizing buildings and streets that we sometimes do not take the time to stop and actually analyze how our brain processes all that information at lightning speeds. It is a different story for machine learning because, frankly, machines did not have the benefit of billions of years of evolution to perfect that process.
But Google Lens is probably an important step in the right direction, even if it is just baby steps for now. As the technology continues to improve, it should be able to read business cards, remember URLs, identify mailing addresses, and even scan book and film titles (from posters or from store shelves). And it is somewhat exciting to know that other big names are also exploring similar technology -- indeed, visual recognition capabilities are also offered by Samsung’s Bixby Vision, Amazon’s Firefly, and Pinterest’s Lens. Motorola’s Moto X4 even has a landmark recognition feature in its camera app.
For more information about the Google Lens roll out, you can refer to Google’s blog post.
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