Google is reportedly rolling out Google Lens in Assistant for both the original Pixel and latest Pixel 2 lineup. Some users found the feature to appear within Assistant late last week. Google Lens is an AI-based feature that scans an image or screenshot to provide relevant information. It was previously available only via the Google Photos app, but it now looks like the company is rolling it out for Google Assistant for Pixel users as well.
The visual search feature first debuted in Google Photos on Pixel 2 and later expanded to include Pixel and Pixel XL. Lens could be triggered in Photos when viewing an image or screenshot. Some users are now seeing the feature within Assistant, 9to5Google reports. To activate Lens, hold down the home button to bring up Assistant and then tap the new camera icon in the bottom right corner. Following this, a new camera viewfinder will be launched with the Lens functionality. Simply point at any object or thing in your surrounding and the Lens will try to bring up information on that via a carousel of suggestions.
Tapping on any one of the suggestions will bring up links for performing a web search or performing an action through other relevant apps. Say, for example, you point the camera to a book. Lens will try to identify the book and will suggest some actions like viewing more information via Google search, or checking out a video on the book via YouTube, among other things.
Google Lens was first announced back in May during the Google I/O developers conference where CEO Sundar Pichai explained the search giant’s push in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Lens essentially uses both to analyse say a flower in your surrounding when you point the phone’s camera at it so that it can identify that particular flower and provide users with more information on it. The feature works similar to what Samsung introduced with its Bixby assistant.
While some Pixel and Pixel 2 users have already confirmed getting the Lens feature in Assistant, the company is expected to roll it out for all Pixel owners in the coming weeks. As of now there is no word on when the feature will be available for other devices.
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