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Google adds visual search features in shopping, video push By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: This sign was seen in front of the Google store at Chelsea. New York City. U.S.A, June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton


By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc’s Google on Wednesday unveiled search features coming soon that will put images rather than text at the heart of queries and potentially expand its role in e-commerce and its dominance in online video.

In May, Google stated that artificial intelligence technology would allow searchers to combine photos with text in order to locate what they want. Google said that the promised features will be made available via Google Lens within months during its Wednesday Search On conference.

“With this new capability, you can tap on the Lens icon when you’re looking at a picture of a shirt, and ask Google to find you the same pattern — but on another article of clothing, like socks,” Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan said. It’s useful when searching for something difficult to define with words.

This technology can also sort within videos on YouTube by Google, which is already the largest streaming site.

Raghavan explained that “your bike has a problem and you want to know how it can be fixed.” It will be easier to locate the right moment within a video with point-and ask searching.

Reverse-image searches will now be possible when browsing the Google iOS app and Chrome desktop browser. The image can be selected to pull up similar images online. These visuals could aid shoppers in finding places to buy products from photos.

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