What is Google Lens?

Google Lens is Google's new object recognition tool; an easy shortcut that has led to some referring to it as the ‘Shazam of objects’. All the mobile user has to do is point Google Lens at a photograph to get information about the elements it contains, be it a flower, a product, a monument or a local establishment.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai's announcement comes just as apps Pinterest and Instagram are stepping up their e-commerce game by enabling brands to tag their products directly in photographs and incorporate links to their sites! Automatic object recognition is expected to be the next step, but it seems that Google is already a step ahead on that front.

In practical terms, Google Lens will allow mobile users to access information relating to your points of sale (reviews, opening hours, etc.) without so much as the click of a button! Let Partoo tell you a bit more about it...

What impact does it have on local businesses?

Google Lens now allows Google Photos users to obtain information relating to points of sale, restaurants and even historical monuments based on a single photo. Google Lens uses both the user's geolocation at the time of the shot and a computer vision and ‘machine learning’ algorithm to recognise the establishment in question, allowing the technology to identify the façade of the establishment from Google Street View

Google then compares this with the Google Maps database to access the information provided on Google My Business listings, such as reviews, a description and even the opening hours!

Although such recognition is currently based on a photograph, the possibilities it represents for the future are endless. Indeed, in the longer term, it should be possible to display information relating to a given establishment in augmented reality, directly on the smartphone’s screens, without the need to take a photo in the first place, meaning that a customer looking for a restaurant on an unfamiliar street could easily view opening hours, reviews and even a menu without even needing to type anything on their phone; they would simply have to point it at the establishment in question!

Such applications will make Google My Business an increasingly important part of the lives of local businesses, and Partoo can help you manage your information on Google My Business, process your reviews and even get better scores to attract more customers! Please contact us using the chat feature in the bottom right-hand corner to find out more.

Who can use Google Lens?

While Google Lens was, until recently, available only to Pixel users, those with smartphones running Android Oreo 8.0 and 8.1 in English can also now use the feature It will soon be rolled out across other Android configurations and to Google Photos users!

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