Google Lens Makes Shopping Easier

Updated: Nov 23, 2018

Google announced its new Pixel 3 phone in New York last week. With capabilities like Style Search, users of Pixel 3 can simply point Google Lens at any object, and utilising Google’s new tech it will identify exactly what you’re looking at and where to buy it. It could also revolutionise Google search.

So, you’re sitting in a cafe and you’re crushing on your neighbour’s sunglasses. Just point the camera at it and Google Lens will let you know by rummaging its ginormous database to find the exact match. Not only that, it will also show you where to buy it from.

Google Lens also works offline, according to the company, which allows users to find more information on real world objects. Google first announced the tool two years ago when it launched it exclusively with Pixel 2, but it will now be available on some of its other newer devices.

Google Lens isn’t an app, rather a tool that is embedded into the tech giant’s other services. Google Maps, for example can use Lens to help you orient while using walking navigation. If you point at a book, Lens can provide you with information about the author or where to buy it from. Point Lens at a storefront and you can access information about the business like customer reviews. Even point to a shrub and Lens will tell you what species it is and how to take care of it. This could revolutionise Google search and cumbersome typing.

If it leads to a serious uptake, I can’t help wonder about the implications of Google Lens on society. We’re already in a paradigm of shrinking memories thanks to us snapping away every area of our lives and here we have the perfect device, that if constantly used, may well shrink our abilities to retain information. Why bother.

That leads onto the other thing, maybe I don’t want to let my neighbour at the coffee shop secretly spying on my outfit. Call me old fashioned, but I would be totally ok with being asked. Again, call me old fashioned, but I don't mind talking to my neighbour either ;)

But, in the odd chance I feel a bit spyish and my neighbour seems way too unapproachable, sure I’ll give Google Lens a whirl. Great, yet another reason to keep people hooked to their phones!

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