Google Lens has been around since last year since it featured in the Google Photos app and on the Google Assistant. At Google I/O 2018, Google took the next step and announced that Lens will now be built directly into the native camera app on supported devices.
For the uninitiated, Google Lens is a tool which uses computer vision and Google's machine learning algorithms to look up landmarks, books, music albums, movies and artwork based on what it reads from the photograph that has been shot. Google Lens can also to copy URLs and contact information from a picture of a poster or business card and save it as text.
As of now, Google has partnered with the likes of LGE, Motorola, Xiaomi, Sony Mobile, HMD/Nokia, Transsion, TCL, OnePlus, BQ and Asus for the direct integration of Lens and expects to join hands with a lot more phone-makers in the future. Notice how the Bixby sporting Samsung is absent from this list of smartphone makers
Google also announced three updates to Lens that will help answer questions better and quicker. The first of the three is a new smart text selection feature which detects and lets you use words from a physical piece of paper. Users can copy and paste text from the real world—like recipes, gift card codes or even WiFi passwords to their phones using Lens. Google Lens also lets users make sense of a page of words by showing them relevant information and photos.
For example, if you are at a restaurant and see the name of a dish you do not recognise, Lens will pull up pictures from the internet to give you a better idea.
The second feature is the ability to find related outfits or home decor items through Style Match that picks-out similar-looking items when you point the camera towards an outfit. This feature could be handy if you meet a friend wearing something that you absolutely must have, but you do not want something identical to what the friend is wearing.
The third update to Lens is that it now works in real-time. It work's proactively as you move the camera and pop's up markers or information cards as you move.
The update to Google Lens will be rolling out soon and Google's partner vendors will roll-out updates to their native camera apps soon after.