Google Will Allow You to Combine Text and Image in Search

Google Search Image Text Featured

You know those times when you’re looking for some information and want to Google but don’t know how to search for it? Google is fully aware. It is adding the ability to search the Web and YouTube using a combination of text and image. But make no mistake – this isn’t for our convenience. Its purpose is to help Google.

Google Search to Include Text and Image Combined Technology

Google revealed this new search query feature for text and image combined on Wednesday at the Search On conference. The Google Lens search tool will pick up this ability within months. The company had announced earlier this year that artificial intelligence would make this feature possible.

Users will be able to tap on the Google Lens icon when looking at an object and ask for help in finding an element of the object.

Google Search Text Image Phone

“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,” said Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan.

Suddenly, clothing and accessory shopping just became much more exciting. Looking for a necktie the same color as your pants? No problem.

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

Raghavan explained the technology isn’t just helpful when shopping – it will work to search through videos as well. “Your bike has a broken thingamajig, and you need some guidance on how to fix it,” he said. “The point-and-ask mode of searching will make it easier to find the exact moment in a video that can help.”

You’ll also be able to do a reverse image search on the Google iOS apps and Chrome desktop browser. This could also aid with your shopping searches.

Google Motive for Change

Again, this new Google Search technology to combine text and image isn’t just to help us shop and find videos. It’s to help us shop in the Google Shopping marketplace and to help us find YouTube videos so we’ll watch the ads on the videos.

It’s reminiscent of Google’s earlier announcement that it would no longer track people through its search engine. But it was really just a slight change in philosophy. It is searching groups instead.

Google Search Text Image Tablet

With a feature called “Privacy Sandbox,” instead of tracking someone looking to buy the article of clothing with that certain pattern, now it’s tracking all the people that want to buy clothing in that pattern and grouping them together.

While the new Google search feature will help you, it will also help Google. When you search on Google Lens with that text and image combined, Google is collecting data on you as a group.

If Google knowing this much about you is giving you the willies, read on to learn how to delete your Google search history and how to perform a Google search anonymously.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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