Go to contents

Google Lens to get information and translation

Posted May. 19, 2017 07:19,   

Updated May. 19, 2017 07:38

“We're moving from mobile first to AI-first. In an AI-first world we are thinking through all our products. We are building AI-first data centers. We are focused on applying AI to solving problems.”

"We’re talking about an important shift from a mobile-first world to an AI-first world," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said at the Google I/O developers' conference on Wednesday.

Pichai announced new AI-based offerings across a wide range of services and devices, from virtual assistant and advanced speakers to AI camera. The first unveiled technology was Google Lens, which is a set of vision-based computing capabilities. Users can be informed about an object just by aiming a phone’s camera at it. Google Lens will be adopted in Google’s virtual assistant, called Assistant, and Google Photo.

For example, if you point your phone at a flower, Google Lens will tell you the type of that flower. When pointing the camera at the exterior of a restaurant, users can see main menus and reviews of the place. With the added translation feature, people can take a picture of the menu with Google Lens and translate the text in pictures from other languages. If you take a photo of a WiFi network ID and password, you will be automatically connected to the WiFi network.

“Google Lens is a set of vision-based computing capabilities that can understand what you're looking at and help you take action based on that information," said Pichai. "The key thing is, you don’t need to learn anything new to make this work—the interface and the experience can be much more intuitive than, for example, copying and pasting across apps on a smartphone.”

Google also introduced a new virtual reality (VR) technology. It is planning to launch stand-alone VR headsets at the end of this year, which don’t require a smartphone or PC to be added to make them work. The design will be created with the help of Qualcomm to be similar to that of Google’s existing VR headset Daydream View, consisting of a headset and a remote control.

The tech giant also announced a plan of expanding its VR platform, Daydream, and create a VR ecosystem. Pichai said that Daydream will be making its way to devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, and LG’s next flagship device due later this year. So far, Google’s Pixel has been the only Daydream-ready smartphone.

Jae-Hee Kim jetti@donga.com