A Marketeer’s guide to Google Lens

Have you seen this icon in your camera app recently? Wondering what it is?

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Go on, click on it, it won’t bite… rather it’s going to give you a chance to take a bigger bite of market share for your business.

This, fellow marketing folk, is the new Google Lens app integrated into your native camera app on your android smartphones. Currently, the feature is only available on a handful of smartphone brands running android OS out-of-the-box. And even those brands only have them on certain models. For the rest of the world, Google Lens is available as a stand-alone app that can be downloaded on android phones running a compatible version of the OS. But knowing Google, it’s just a matter of time before Google Lens becomes a standard feature on all Android smartphones. For the folks using iphones, You can try Google Lens from the Google Photos app or simply wait for Google Lens app to be made available for iphones. Better yet, maybe the folks at Apple will come out with a similar feature for iphone cameras.

But what really is Google Lens? And why are we talking to you about it? As Marketeers with steadily decreasing budgets and ever increasing targets, we think Google Lens is definitely a fresh approach to AI and AR integrated marketing communication (that’s Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality for the uninitiated). Google Lens uses AI and AR to analyse images, text and gestures, crawl the web for connected information and give you back search results that may be relevant to what you just saw on your screen. All this in seconds. The folks at Google have given the app a befitting tagline – ‘Search what you see’ because that’s exactly what it helps you do. Search using your camera lens…no need to type anymore or even use voice. Just point, click and voila.

Below are a few screenshots of Google Lens in action.

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We tried it for ourselves on an iphone from Google Photos and here are the screenshots.

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It’s quite buggy at the moment but what it is able to do still blows our minds. On scale of 1-10 Google lens is able to fetch related, if not relevant, search results almost 7 times. That’s pretty amazing in our minds and gives us a fairly good idea of what Google Lens holds for marketing folk in the future. We’re not saying that it’ll all be possible tomorrow or even in 2 years or a decade, but we’re pretty certain its possible. Here are a few things that we think Google Lens is going to do for marketing:

  1. Give Content a facelift

If search is going to be more visual in the future then Google Lens is going to force SEO and SEM into a visual space. That in turn is going to force Marketeers to create more visual content rather than textual. More videos, more images, More AR and VR perhaps. It’s going to be a visual treat. Will this see the end of the copywriter species and give birth to a whole new breed of content developers? Well we think this is already happening and Google Lens is only making it more clear as to why.

  1. Real World Real-Time UI

Think of it as having a personal assistant tagging along with you wherever you go. Google Lens has already proven that it is capable of translating languages from signs. While this is a dream come true for travel freaks, here’s another awesome use that it could be put to in future. Google already has GPS based apps like Maps, Google Search, and many more, which when tied together could be one hell of an amoebic UI that keeps changing as per your needs. For example, you are in China and you need directions, you point your camera at the road sign which is promptly translated into a language you can read. But that’s not the end of it. Based on the time of day, based on the places you’ve visited, based on your current location, Google lens can give you a schedule for the rest of the day with places to eat at, things to do, events happening in your locality and more. Now just imagine the kind of possibilities that gives marketeers. A real-time UI that can keep changing to push your audience on a journey you want them to go on. Brilliant isn’t it?

  1. AIPOSM or (Artificial Intelligence Point of Sale Marketing)

Ok, now this one is really a bit of a stretch into the future. What if Google lens started living on independent CCTV cameras connected to the internet with access to whatever information about you that you have agreed to share with Google? Imagine cameras like these installed at malls and retail outlets. As you walk in, the camera identifies you, does a background check on your purchase behaviour, your history with the store you just entered and in-turn throws up notifications on your phone on what you are looking for even without you asking for anything. Or imagine walking into a restaurant on your birthday and being thrown a surprise birthday party by the establishment? Isn’t that awesome? Some might think it intrusive but as we all know it’s still in your hands how much you want to share about yourself with Google.

Well, these are just a few of the things we could think of right now for this article, but by the time it’s published, we’re sure we’ll have a lot more possibilities added to the list.

Let us know what you think of Google Lens and leave your comments here if you’re as excited as us to discuss the possibilities of Google Lens.

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