Have you ever watched a Marvel Avengers movie wishing you had your own personal AI just like Tony Stark? At Google I/O 2017, Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed a new technology lovingly branded "Google Lens" which aims to bring mankind a breath nearer to each person having their own personal Jarvis. Google Lens is a new technology designed for Android devices that allows a user to point their camera phone at any object in order for contextual information to be gathered about that object and to convey it back to the user.
In 2011, Apple made the first steps towards the creation of personal AI on a mainstream device with the creation of SIRI. Since its inception SIRI has been blessed with repeated improvements while competitors such as Google and Microsoft have also added similar technology to their devices. SIRI, however, has always been restricted by its limitation of voice based input. Google Lens aims to expand on this by adding visual input to the world of the personal AI. In a simple sense Google Lens is Google search for the real world using your camera to take the role of the input box.
In his presentation, Pichai revealed several impressive features that demonstrate Google Lens' impressive ability to perceive the world around it. In his first demonstration, Pichai showcased Google Lens correctly identifying a rare flower. Next, Google Lens was shown being pointed at the WIFI connectivity information attached to a router so that it could automatically interpret this information and connect to the network without any additional user driven action. Finally, Pichai unveiled what could be the beginnings of a true augmented reality experience as Google Lens correctly identified various shop fronts as it was shown a trendy street.
The real world accuracy of Google Lens is certainly yet to be seen and forgive me if I don't quite hold my breath in regards to this becoming a Master Chief's Cortana living in our phones, but the future of this technology points to an interesting new method of perceiving the world around us. Google Lens represents a formidable new innovation that leverages camera technology to radically shift the way we interpret the world.