The latest iteration of Google Lens has filters for translation, finding food, and shopping. Another big part of the company’s visual search tool is integration with magazines, billboards, and other print advertising to make it easier to get more information. The latest example of that is a Google Lens partnership with the NYT Magazine.

In the case of the New York Times Magazine, pointing Google Lens at an issue is meant to “make the print reading experience more interactive.” Starting at the front, pointing Lens on Android or iOS will launch a “Behind the Cover” video to explain the design process.

Various marked articles within will offer “additional digital elements,” including a way to save and share articles as you’re reading them in print. This is a timesaver compared to searching for the headline online and then manually sharing. It’s also more elegant than having an out-of-place QR code, with any image able to act as a URL.

This integration will run for the first half of 2020, starting with NYT Magazine’s annual Music Issue this coming Sunday. The resulting experiences leverage augmented reality by having videos and animations blend in with the physical environment.

Using Lens, readers will be able to access a variety of multimedia experiences, including immersive video and animation that will bring the cover and inside pages of the print Music Issue to life, letting readers go beyond what’s in the Magazine. Best of all, readers will also be able to listen to a playlist of the music featured in the issue using Lens.

Google is also working with brands on interactive print ads for the Magazine that emphasize Lens in a first for the Music Issue.

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Abner Li

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