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Google announces new search features: Immersive View, Search with Live View & more

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Google, at its ‘Search On 2022’ event, has announced several new features in an attempt to be more than a search engine. The updates follow Google’s disclosure earlier this year of internal research which indicated younger people had begun turning to other services, like TikTok and Instagram, instead of Google to kick off their web searches.

Here are some of the key features that the search giant has announced…

Immersive View

The upcoming Immersive View feature is designed to help you plan ahead and get a deeper understanding of a city before you visit it. Immersive view leverages a combination of computer vision and AI technology to fuse together Street view and aerial imagery with what the weather, traffic and crowds will be like on a given day and time. The feature allows users to explore by visually soaring over an area to see what it may look like. Using predictive modeling, Immersive view automatically learns historical trends to determine what an area will be like tomorrow, next week or even next month.

For example, say you’re planning to visit IBM Corporate Headquarters in Armonk, NY and want to check it out before you go. You can use Immersive View to see where the parking lots and entrances are, and also see what the weather will be like so you can dress accordingly.

Search with Live View

Google also announced that it’s bringing search functionality to Live View. When you select or search for a place on Google Maps, you can tap on the Live View button to visualize your destination in the real world. Now, the company is expanding the underlying technology to launch a new feature called ‘Search with Live View’.

Say you’re heading to an outdoor market and need to take cash out. With ‘Search with Live View’, simply lift your phone to search and instantly see the ATMs in an area. You can also spot different places such as coffee shops, grocery stores and transit stations. Google will also show you business hours and how busy a place is, and you can tap on any location to view more details such as what services the barber shop down the street offers. ‘Search with Live View’ starts rolling out in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Paris and Tokyo in the coming months on Android and iOS.

AR Translate for Google Lens

Google Lens has offered support for real-time translations for quite a while. However, in its current state, the feature covers up the original image to display the translated text, giving it an unpleasant appearance. With the updated Google Lens AR Translate experience, Google aims to make real-time translations look more natural and seamless. The company has optimized its machine learning to blend translated text into complex images in 100 milliseconds. The technology uses Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). So, if you point your camera at a magazine in another language, for example, you’ll now see translated text realistically overlaid onto the pictures underneath.

Multisearch Near Me

The feature will let users rely on their phone’s camera to find an image using Google Lens and then add an additional text-based query. Google’s earlier blog post had revealed some examples on how the feature works. For example, you could use a screenshot of an orange coloured dress and add ‘green’ to find it another colour. Multisearch was launched as a beta service in the US earlier this year and it will expand to more than 70 languages in the coming months.

Shopping will get more personal

Google has announced several new features for making shopping easier on Google. Here are some of the key ones…

  • Search with the word ‘Shop’ – When someone searches with the word ‘shop’ followed by whatever item they are looking for, Google will show visual feed of products, research tools and nearby inventory related to that product. The shoppable search experience is also being expanded beyond apparel to electronics, beauty, and more, to additional regions for both mobile and desktop.
  • Shop in 3D – The company has announced the ability to shop in 3D. The 3D visuals of home goods were launched earlier this year, and soon you’ll be able to see 3D visuals of shoes, starting with sneakers. To give merchants and advertisers better access to 3D visuals, Google also launched a new automated 360-degree spin feature that can be accessed by using a handful of static photos. The new technology will become available in the coming months.
  • ‘Shop the look’ – The tool will allow you to see options of where to buy the products you see in search. The feature shows links to the exact product you’re searching for, plus complementary pieces and where to buy them.

New Shortcuts to get results faster

Google is banking big on making search better and faster. To do this, Google has introduced new shortcuts for various Search tools users may need right below the Search bar in Google app. This includes options for shopping, translating, identifying music or image search in the camera roll and more. The feature is now rolling out on the Google app for iOS.

Overall, the new features announced by Google will bring more perspectives to your search, helping you make informed choices and learn more about what’s going on around the world.

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