Use Google Lens to identify and understand virtually anything

Good old days, expert help was needed for finding or confirming information till Google Search arrived for our rescue. Among the array of search tools which Google has provided, Google Lens is the classiest.

A lens and Google

Lens is a piece of glass which helps to enlarge things. It helps us to see things better and provide additional information. Google Lens works with the exact same purpose. Google Lens can be used in two ways, as a stand along app or use it inbuilt in Google Apps.

Google has integrated lens with many of its apps like Google Assistant, Pixel phone camera and Google Photos. Here is the interface for the standalone app.

Open the Lens app and point it at the object or picture which you want to search. A white circle will appear if lens finds something. It will also focus at the place in the picture where it finds. The central search button straightway brings up the results. Further refine results can be brought up by using the buttons of translate or food or shopping. Here are the specific features of Google Lens.

  • Translate any text in languages used by Google Translate
  • Check a product like T shirt or purse to see if it is available for sale online
  • See if a particular dish is available as a menu in a restaurant
  • Find out about a building or monument and additional information which is available on Google Maps
  • Identify plants, animals, birds, insects, etc
  • Scan text and QR code for information and capturing business details

Google Photos with Lens

Google Lens integrated with photos takes pictures recognition to a new level. Without the stand alone app, not only pictures taken by the camera but any other source can be opened in Google Photos and run through the lens.

I use Lens to identify the birds which I click using DSLR. First the pictures need to be imported on Google Photos.

Select a picture, and click on the lens icon. The picture is scanned and results shown in a small box below.

Pictures are scanned fast for results. Specially helpful is the search for birds for someone who is not conversant with the different species.

Google Lens is fast and needs a data connection to work. The stand alone app can help in tight situations and pull up information from the internet. A lens based search can actually speed up your search and narrow down results where text based search can give conflicting results.

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