Google users can soon add images and text to search queries, a feature unveiled Wednesday that could help the Alphabet Inc entity expand its role in e-commerce and dominance in online video. The new feature will arrive via its Google Lens search tool within months, the company said at its livestreamed Search on conference call. Google said in May that advances in artificial intelligence software would make this possible.
“With this new capability, when you’re viewing a picture of a shirt, you can tap on the lens icon and ask Google You have to find the same pattern – but on another article of clothing, like socks,” said senior vice president Prabhakar Raghavan. “It helps when you’re looking for something that can be accurately described with words alone.” It’s hard to describe.”
The technology even sorts within video, including Google’s youtube, is already the largest streaming service on the Internet. “Your bike has a broken thing, and you need some guidance on how to fix it,” Raghavan said.
Users will be able to run reverse-image searches while surfing the Google iOS app or Chrome desktop browser. Selecting an image will pull up similar online views, which can help shoppers figure out where to buy the items seen in the photos and eventually take them to Google Shopping, a rival to Amazon Marketplace.
Making more items discoverable is another priority. Google said it is licensing a free address maker app for governments and organizations to map routes and assign addresses to businesses and homes that are not yet listed on Google Maps. Google said the app could reduce the time it takes governments and organizations to assign addresses for a city from years to weeks.