During the Google I/O 2018, the tech company introduced quite a number of updates for Google Photos. Centering on artificial intelligence-powered technology, such updates included Google Lens and its integration with Google Maps as well as colorization of images.
1. Google Lens + Google Maps
The Maps integration is the byproduct of the combination of camera, computer vision technology, and the app itself. You will be able to find the Google Maps user interface at the bottom of the screen, while seeing your surroundings through your camera. Improving from its image-reading function, the new version of Google Lens now identifies text. It can read and analyze text on the menu, traffic signs, poster, and/or business cards.
Additionally, Google Lens now has real-time functionality. It can now actively navigate your surroundings through your camera, identify things in it, and provide you information about the that specific subject. Together with technological advances in machine learning, the on-device intelligence and cloud TPUs spur this feature of the Lens to identify large numbers words, phrases, places, and things within a split second.
“The camera is not just answering questions, but putting the answers right where the questions are,” said Aparna Chennapragada, head of Product for Google’s Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Vision-based products (Lens).
Until recently, Google Lens has been available in Photos and Google Assistant, but will now be integrated right into the Camera app across a variety of devices, including LG, Motorola, Xiaomi, Sony Mobile, HMD/Nokia, Transsion, TCL, OnePlus, BQ, and ASUS, as well as Google Pixel devices. The Google Lens updates will be available in the next few weeks.
2. Style Match
Another update of the Google Lens is the Style Match. All you have to do is point your camera at any clothing item or accessory and the Lens will search through items that match the style of your subject. It navigates through millions of items on the web, but maintains its understanding of different textures, shapes, angles, and lighting conditions.
3. Improved AI power
The new version of the Google Photos app now suggests fixes and improvements to your photos like rotations, brightness corrections, or increasing pigments—a boost in their AI-powered features. That being said, the AI is now located at the main interface unlike when it was in the “Assistant” tab before.
Editing and correcting photos are not new in Google Photos but unlike before when they were done manually, the update makes them possible with just one-tap.
There is also the new Photoscan technology that will help you fix photos of your documents by zooming and correcting the photo.
Moreover, a tool will assess the subjects in the photo and will then enable you to share it with them. Also, the “Color Pop” tool identifies the subject in the photo’s foreground, and turn the background black and white.
4. Colorizing black and white photos
While the Color Pop tool turns the background of a given photo black and white, one of the upcoming tools that is something to be most excited about it the “Colorize” tool. It will enable users to turn black-and-white photos into colorized images. However, Google is still working on the tool as it is a complicated one.
“A neural network will try to infer the colors that likely work best in the photo—like turning the grass green, for example. Getting other things right—like skin tone, perhaps—could be more tricky [sic] ; so the team isn’t launching the feature until it’s ‘really right,’” said Google Photos Product Lead Dave Lieb.