Google Lens is a new app currently available on Google Pixel phones and all Android Devices through Google Photos App, that lets users take pictures of various objects such as buildings, plants, books, animals, barcodes, store fronts (with help from user’s location data) and more, and give the user information on it such as, what exactly they are looking at and reviews if it is a storefront or product.
It’s basically a Search Engine for your phone’s camera.
Google Lens was first announced at Google I/O in May 2017 and was rolled out in a “Preview” version for Pixel and Pixel 2 users in late 2017. It can be used from the camera interface on Google Assistant or after the picture is taken through Google Photos.
So What’s the Big Deal?
The Big Deal to the average user is that they can quickly get more information about the world around them.
Here, Google Lens is able to identify a type of flower. (Notice the “Nearby Florists” at the bottom)
Here, Google Lens allows a user to login to a password protected wifi with ease.
Another feature Lens has is its ability to read typed letters and numbers. You can take a picture of a business card and Google Lens will suggest adding it to your contacts with a simple tap.
Something else to consider is how will Google use the data from Google Lens. With the advents of Google Home, Google Assistant and now Google Lens, people are giving Google more and more access to their world. My prediction is that users will see ads that have something in common with the pictures they use Google Lens with (most likely in the next couple years).
Google stores information on its users and controls the content that it shows it’s users, such as ads, search results and search results based on users history. Google Lens is a new way for Google to collect information about its users.
How Will Google Lens Affect Businesses?
While still in it’s infancy stage, Google Lens can have a positive or negative affect on your business, depending on how your business appears online. Google Lens users can be outside your store, take a picture of your store front and be shown your business’ reviews, your website and more. This will only reinforce the notion of the importance of reviews for your business.
Google Lens looks to be a pretty interesting and useful app. I’m excited to see how it advances, and also curious to see how Google will use it to advertise to it’s users.