Google integrates visual search features amid shopping push

Google is to combine images and text in search queries in a bid the company hopes will expand its ecommerce capabilities.

The new feature will be rolled out in the coming months through the Google Lens search tool, the company said in a livestream conference.

The company said back in May that advances in AI tech were Google said in May that advances in artificial intelligence software would make it possible.

“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,” Google senior vice president Prabhakar Raghavan said.

“This helps when you’re looking for something that might be difficult to describe accurately with words alone.”

The tech will also be able to sort within videos on platforms like Youtube, the internet’s largest streaming service.

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“Your bike has a broken thingamajig, and you need some guidance on how to fix it,” Raghavan said. “The point-and-ask mode of searching will make it easier to find the exact moment in a video that can help.”

Users will have the ability to run reverse-image searches when browsing the internet, on the Google app or the Chrome desktop browser.

When a user selects an image, similar online visuals will appear, which Google hopes will help find shoppers find where to buy items seen in photos and videos, ultimately leading them Google Shopping, which is the company’s rival to Amazon’s marketplace.

Google’s main priority is focussing on making more items searchable, according to Reuters.

The company also said it was licensing a free address maker app to be rolled out to governments and organisations.

The app will be assign addresses to businesses and homes not already listed on Google Maps, the company said that this could reduce the time it takes for governments to assign addresses from years to weeks.

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