Google brings new visual search feature; Combines image & text into one query

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The US-based technology giant, Google has launched search features that will put images and text into a search query and potentially expanding its role in eCommerce and its dominance in online video.

The new feature will arrive within months through its Google Lens search tool, the company said in its live-streamed Search On conference. In May, Google said that advances in artificial intelligence (AI) software would begin to enable searchers to mix photos and text to find whatever they are after.

“With this new capability, you can tap on the Lens icon when you are looking at a picture of a shirt, and ask Google to find you the same pattern, but on another article of clothing, like socks. This helps when you are looking for something that might be difficult to describe accurately with words alone,” Senior Vice President of Google, Mr. Prabhakar Raghavan said.

The technology also sorts within videos, including on YouTube, already the internet’s biggest streaming service. Users will be able to run reverse-image searches when surfing on the Google iOS app or the Chrome desktop browser. 

Selecting an image will pull up similar online visuals, which could help shoppers find where to buy items seen in photos and ultimately lead them to Google Shopping, its rival to Amazon’s marketplace.

These updates are part of Google’s latest push to improve its search tools using AI language understanding. Making more items searchable is another priority of Google and it said it was licensing a free Address Maker app to governments and organizations to map routes and assign addresses to businesses and homes not yet listed on Google Maps.

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