Visual search on Google

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Google lens is a new tool arriving to the search engine in the coming months. The feature will allow users to combine images and text in search queries. While reverse image searches are already a capability on Google through sites like Tinyeye, which finds identical images across the entire web. Google lens will take traditional text and images searches a step further, as summarised by Google Vice President.

“With this new capability, you can tap on the Lens icon when you’re looking at a picture of a shirt, and ask Google to find you the same pattern — but on another article of clothing, like socks”

Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan

Searching made easy

The technology also trawls videos, which includes YouTube, to help users find exactly what they’re looking for. The problem with the existing search process, is the requirement of an understanding of the object, person or place. If a part of your bike or computer is broken, searching for the replacement or solution requires knowledge of the broken item. With Google lens, the technology provides both the knowledge and solution.

For shoppers, it’ll make finding items in pictures that much easier. Photos will be picked apart and cross checked with ecommerce market places for complete knowledge of where the items can be bought. A move that’ll create a lot of transparency around the fashion industry and allowing Google to better compete with the likes of Amazon.