Google introduced a few changes for Google Search on mobile devices today at IO 2019, as well as new features for Google Lens.
For Search, it is bringing AR to supported mobile devices, like great white sharks and animated models from Visible Body.
With new AR features in Search, you can view and interact with 3D objects right from Search and place them directly into your own space, giving you a sense of scale and detail. For example, it’s one thing to read that a great white shark can be 18 feet long. It’s another to see it up close in relation to the things around you. So when you search for select animals, you’ll get an option right in the Knowledge Panel to view them in 3D and AR.
Brands will also being getting in on this AR fun. Companies like New Balance, Samsung, and Target will soon be able to surface their own content in Search, viewable in AR. Think shoes. Let’s say there’s a cool pair you’re checking out online, but want to know if it goes well with your outfit. Thanks to AR, you can put the shoes right next to your clothes on the bed and see what looks good.
New Google Lens Features
For Google Lens, things are getting pretty wild. Soon, you’ll be able to point your device at a local food menu, with Lens able to highlight the most popular dishes right on the physical menu. This is done by Google recognizing each item on the menu, then cross referencing that information with what people are saying online via Google Maps. On top of that, if there’s a dish you aren’t familiar with, Google Lens can easily pull photos of the dish up for you to see.
Google is also partnering with Bon Appetit to offer super immersive recipes for users of Lens. In upcoming issues, you’ll be able to point your phone at the physical page of the magazine, then have recipes come to life for step-by-step instructions.
Google Go + Lens
Lastly, when you point your camera at text, Lens can now read it out loud to you. It highlights the words as they are spoken, so you can follow along and understand the full context of what you see. You can also tap on a specific word to search for it and learn its definition. This feature is launching first in Google Go, our Search app for first-time smartphone users. Lens in Google Go is just over 100KB and works on phones that cost less than $50.
All of the features mentioned above are rolling out soon for Search and Lens.