In 2018, Google unveiled Lens, a visual recognition tool that allows you to obtain information about an object, monument, plant or animal directly by pointing your phone’s camera at it. Samsung had offered its solution shortly before with Bixby Vision on the Galaxy S8. Google I|O 2018 was an opportunity to bring this feature back to the fore by presenting three important new features for the service. Here, we will show you the features, some alternatives and how to install Google Lens for PC on Windows 11 | 10 | 7.
|Year of Launch
|Android | Browser
|All from Google Translate.
|Google Play Store
Install Google Lens for PC using an emulator
BlueStacks and MEmu Play are famous Android emulators that work well with Windows and MacOS. With them, you can download and install Android and iOS applications on your computer and also use external hardware like your mouse and keyboard.
The three important new features
First of all, text recognition now makes it possible to recognize very specific groups of words in order to simply copy/paste them. This can be useful for complicated codes (WiFi passwords, gift codes, etc.) but also to obtain information on a particular point in a text. One of the examples given concerns a list of dishes, with a description that opens according to the user’s selection. Handy when browsing the menu of a particularly exotic restaurant.
Discover similar object
The second feature is the discovery of similar objects. Google gives the example of clothing. If you like a top, scan it with Google Lens for PC and it won’t necessarily give you the exact reference, but at least similar items that you might like. All with merchant links to be able to spend your money directly without having to wait.
Real time scanning
The third novelty is actually an improvement since it is real-time scanning. Previously, scanning an object launched a new window, redirecting for example to a merchant site. The new version makes searches more fluid by recognizing on the fly the different elements present in the image and offering the information in a small pop-up on the screen.
Why use Google Lens for PC?
Google Lens on Windows simplifies all your daily research and invites you to be curious about everything with ease. Taken on the spot or from your gallery, import an image to ask for its meaning, translation, discover similar images or obtain additional information. It all depends on what your image displays. In reality, Google Lens centralizes many already existing applications.
For example, you can take a photo of a poster or sign in a foreign language to translate and understand it. It thus replaces Google Translate and other translation applications that offer this functionality. You can also take a photo of a business card and Google Lens will automatically detect the text information and save it to your contacts and if it’s an event not to be missed, the application is able to add it to your Calendar.
Would you like to find out about a plant in your garden or a tree encountered during a walk? No need to have a dedicated application like PlantNet, Google Lens offers you to take a photo and searches in Google Images directly. This gives you the largest database available and you are not limited to plants, you can do this with cats, breeds of birds and all kinds of animals.
To find out more about the opening hours of a cultural establishment or monument, museum, restaurant, shop or other building open to the public, simply take a photo of it to get all the information you need and if you want, you can get reviews and recommendations via Google Maps. Indeed, Google Lens is linked to the other Google applications on your smartphone.
Painting, clothes, books and QR code
- You have noticed a painting, a piece of clothing, a piece of furniture or any other object that you like at a friend’s house, but he no longer knows where he bought it. Take a picture of it and consult the entire Shopping list to find it or else you will be able to find similar products that you might like.
- And for books, just snap a photo of the title to get a summary, description, and reader reviews, plus links to buy it in physical or digital format.
- And as if that weren’t enough, Google Lens is able to scan QR Codes and barcodes. No more downloading and installing a third-party app like QR Code Reader.
The power of Google Lens for PC to read prescriptions
We can smile, but badly written or indecipherable prescriptions can represent a danger for patients. How many drugs to take? At what time of the day ? And for how many days? Crucial information that you absolutely need to know and unfortunately, it’s sometimes impossible to find it on the prescriptions. Google is working with pharmacists on doctors’ writing. The function will be supported by the Google Lens servers, you will have to take a photo of the prescription or upload it from the smartphone gallery.
Once the image is analyzed, the app will detect and highlight the drugs mentioned on the paper. The user will not be left alone with this information. Google explains that the technology will act as an assistive technology for digitizing handwritten medical documents but “no decision will be made based solely on the result provided by this technology,” the group adds. Google hasn’t announced when this feature will be available, in India (where it has more than half a billion users) or elsewhere.
Alternatives to Google Lens for PC Windows
Search by Image (by Google) is an extension for the Chrome browser, allowing you to make requests from images. Have you ever wanted to find the origin of an image found on the web? Identify a place in a photo, the author of a work, or even the breed of a dog taken in a photo? With this extension this type of search is now possible. Via the Google search engine which is the benchmark for search engines, you are sure to find an answer to your question. Just right-click on an image found on the web and choose Search this image on Google, the extension will do the rest of the work and offer you results from websites where the image was found.
CamFind is a free mobile application for Android and iOS that allows you to start a search from a simple photo. The application is very easy to learn, but all the explanations and all the content is in English. As soon as the application is run, the user is prompted to take a photo but you must take a photo directly, it’s not possible to import a photo from the gallery.
PlantSnap is an application which is used to identify every plants and trees you can see. Just take a picture of it, and the app will compare it with its database to find the matches and give you all the necessary information. It can be useful for people who love to find mushrooms but found one they don’t know, the app can show them if its toxic or good to eat.
Frequently asked questions about Google Lens
Is Google Lens free?
You can download the Google Lens mobile app for Android smartphones and tablets for free.
How do I search from a photo?
Go to Google Images. On your computer, locate the file for the image you want to search by and click on the picture. Hold down the mouse button, drag the image and drop it into the search field.
How to install Google Lens on Mac?
The service is now available on PC and Mac, without the need to activate it manually. To access it, simply right-click on an image and select Search image with Google Lens.
How to activate Google Lens on Chrome?
Open Google Chrome from your PC and type chrome://flags in the search bar and press Enter.
Which OS is Google Lens compatible with?
You can download and install Google Lens only on Android smartphones from version 6.0. If you want to have Google Lens on your iPhone, you need to download and install the Google Photos app.