Looking at the web through a new lens: Google Lens

smartphone camera photoHave you come across Google Lens yet?  It’s Google’s attempt to identify and offer information about what is in a photograph you take.  Useful if you are trying to identify famous landmarks, brutally effective for cheating with both hands in the pictures round of a pub quiz, and otherwise just quite interesting.

After first seeing daylight over five years ago as an early prototype of faltering effectiveness it has been formally launched as a new tool in the Google app suite at the most recent Google I/O developers conference that performs a full Google search with all its mod cons including opening times and peak occupancy information starting your search with a photo rather than words.  From finding reviews of the restaurant you are stood outside or identifying the monument in the distance to discovering whether the pretty flower in Ravelin Park garden will survive the conditions in your garden, this is is another powerful tool in the mobile search arsenal.  Just remember that being high in your search results list guarantees neither truth nor accuracy.  As always, read skeptically and critically and cross-reference your results with reliable and authoritative sources before basing any life altering plans on the outcomes.

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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