With the mission to "organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful", Google has integrated the much-acclaimed Lens to its search app for entry-level smartphones. Announced during the keynote at Google I/O 2019 in California, this new camera capability in Google Go will provide visual information to help users explore the world and get things done throughout the day by putting information and answers where they are most helpful.
For someone who does not understand the language and cannot read words, camera on the Google Go will be able to help them. When a user will point the camera at text, Lens will be able to read it out loud. It will even highlight the words as they are spoken so that the user can follow along and understand the full context of what they see. Users will be able to tap on a specific word to search for it and learn its definition. The text can also be translated into the user's own language, which gets overlaid right on the top of the original sign. It can be even detect local languages. All this uses text-to-speech, computer vision, the power of Translate, and 20 years of language understanding from search all coming together.
Google says more than 800 million adults worldwide struggle to read things like bus schedules or bank forms. And the integration of Lens to Google Go was designed with the aim to help people who struggle with reading. This could come handy for people in developing countries such as India where people still struggle to read.
Google wants to make this feature accessible to as many people as possible. The tech works in over 12 languages already, including English, Hindi, French, Italian, Spanish, to name a few. It is just over 100KB in size and can work on phones that cost as little as $35. The update will be rolled out later this month.
When launched a couple of years ago, Google Go was built from the ground up for new smartphone owners discovering the web for the first time with the aim to make it easy to find popular queries, top websites and apps, trending images and gifs at blazing speed, with minimal typing. Users can even set a second language to switch their search results to or from at any time. While the application comes preinstalled on the entry-level smartphones running Android (Go Edition), the app can be downloaded from Google Play Store as well.