Google Lens

As part of its 20th anniversary, Google in September laid out the future of Search. Alongside Google Discover and dynamically organized results, the company is making information lookup more visual with Stories and featured videos. Google Lens is also coming to Google Images, with that integration now rolling out.

Every picture in the mobile web version of Google Images now features a Google Lens icon underneath. If Lens has already identified objects of interest, the button will feature a badge that notes how many items were found in the photo.

Pressing the Lens icon will highlight the interesting subjects with dots, with tapping an item sliding up a panel of related images or products. If what you’re looking at isn’t already marked, you can simply circle it and Lens will perform a visual search.

Shopping is a big possible use case for this functionality, while Google notes that websites owners will benefit from another way to get content discovered.

For example, you might come to Google Images looking for ideas to redecorate your living room. During your search, you come across a couch you like in an image, but you may not know what style it is or where to buy it. All you need to do is press the Lens button, then either tap on a dot on the couch, or draw around it, and Google Images will show you related information and images. From there, you can learn more about it, or find places where you might be able to buy a similar couch.

The sheet that slides up with results is similar to the Google Lens interface in Google Assistant and Photos. Over time, Google Lens will work to automatically highlight more types of images with dots, including landmarks, animals, and plants.

Google Lens in Google Images is already live for English users in the U.S. It will be rolling out to more countries and languages soon.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: