Google Now lets you use images to search for things you don’t know how to Google

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Like most tech-savvy people, we pride ourselves on our ability to successfully Google anything. Still, there are times when, for lack of a good word, un-Google qualifies. Maybe it’s a dudad you’ve found in your kitchen that you want to replace but don’t know what to call it. Or you want to know if the shirt you are photographing comes in a different color. To address this, Google now lets you combine words with images when searching for things. Previously you could search with a photo, but this is the first time you can add words to your query to improve results.

Google’s results when I wanted my fractal design case in white.

According to The Verge, Google is now launching this feature in beta for its Google Apps. It is available for both Android and iOS. It is part of the Google Lens technology that the company first unveiled in September last year. The process is very simple. First, fire up the app, tap the camera icon, and either take a photo or upload one. From there it determines what the object is and offers a number of “tabs” such as shopping, searching, dining, reading, and more. The clear part is that you can take a picture of something, then tap “Add to search” and change your results. For example I took a photo of my fractal design case, which marked it as a black PC, but not a fractal case. I then added “white” to the results and it showed me a variety of white ATX cases. It should be noted that this technology works best in things that you cannot describe, or you can only describe in vague terms. It’s definitely not perfect. It accurately detected my Logitech G502 mouse, but when I added “Wireless” to the search it showed me random rats. I also uploaded a picture of the ribs, and thought it was a war fly. A.

While this new feature is easy for most shoppers, Google representatives say the potential uses far outweigh the risks. In an interview with The Verge, a representative said he took pictures of the fingernail color work and added “tutorials”. This allows her to find ways to draw her nails in the same way. Although it does not seem to work very well with PCs. I uploaded a photo of a CPU and added “overclock” to the query. However, it showed me a picture of the CPU-Z screen for overclocked CPUs instead of how I should do it.

Still, the feature holds a lot of promise for the future, as it is part of an “AI revolution” in search. Search director Lu Wang told The Verge that the service would eventually expand to video, and not just YouTube, which is owned by Google. It does not restrict search results to companies that have partnered for the purchase, but it can index any site.

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