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Google Lens will gain shopping features, AR component in the works

Google Lens wasn't much more than a party trick when it first launched on the Pixel 2 as a part of Google Photos, but now that Google's visual search service is integrated right within the Google Assistant, it's quickly become a truly functional tool for finding more information on objects around you in the real world. Artem Russakovskii from Android Police recently reached out to Lens' Engineering Lead, Rajan Patel, on Twitter asking about upcoming features, and Patel actually teased a handful of things to expect for the future of Lens.

Starting off with the least exciting of what Patel shared, Google is working on improving recognition of natural world objects, such as flora and fauna, so that Lens can more accurately identify these things and deliver the most precise results possible. This is possible thanks to a new optical character recognition (OCR) model that Patel's team is working on, and it should result in faster and better recognition of all the things Lens can currently identify.

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Patel also announced that new shopping features are in the works for Lens. These will likely be introduced after the natural world recognition improvements, and although he didn't dive into too much detail about how they'll work, we do know that it'll support things like apparel, home goods, and more. We should hopefully get more information on Lens' shopping features in the coming weeks, but our guess is that it'll allow people to see online listing for items, user reviews, and options to buy them right from Lens.

Lastly, Patel shared that "experimental AR experiences coming as well." These AR experiences are likely the furthest out from a public release, and to be perfectly honest, we aren't sure what to expect from this. Google just launched AR Stickers for the Pixel and Pixel 2, but since Patel notes that the AR component for Lens is "experimental", it's probably quite a bit different from the fun and cutesie stickers.

Google Lens now available via Assistant on Pixel phones

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Any idea when this app will be available on other phones?
  • Support shopping features - oh my - this app will make it to every housewife in the neighborhood. If I am to understand how this app will mature - take a picture - do a search - and show results - on anything... Impressive .