Google Lens can now recognize a billion items

Google’s AI-powered camera tool can now recognize over a billion items, the company wrote in a new blog post. Google Lens launched last year in a preliminary version on Photos and Assistant with only around 250,000 items within its repertoire.

The expansion comes over a year after the Google Lens’ optical character recognition engine has been trained on reading more product labels. By recognizing text, Google Lens thus can put names to the faces of more goods. It has also been fed more data from photos taken by smartphones, so Google says the feature is overall more reliable than before.

The 1 billion items figure comes from products available through Google Shopping, so it likely doesn’t include more obscure, unshoppable objects, such as a gaming console from the 1990s or the first edition of a rare book. But it covers a huge range of things that could appease someone who’s simply just looking up an item they’re curious about.

Beyond shopping items, Google Lens can now also recognize people, Wi-Fi network names, and geometric shapes, in addition to the litany of categories it could already analyze. The ability to automatically connect to Wi-Fi by snapping a photo of a router label was introduced at I/O 2017, and this year added the ability to copy information from a business card and add it to your phone’s contact list. For a full list of how to get the most out of Google Lens, here’s a handy guide.

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