I know that those of us in tech and digital marketing like to say that the future is now a lot, but the future really is truly upon us with the announcement of Google Lens.
What Is Google Lens?
Remember Google Goggles? Chances are you don’t have a pair, but you had a mind to try them out before they were put to rest in 2014.
If you had the opportunity, you were impressed, but you probably doubted the idea that mass adoption was on the horizon. You were right, but you were wrong.
Google Lens does what Google Goggles did, but with NO GOGGLES.
Your camera IS the search box.
Here’s an example — let’s say you snap a photo of a concert venue. Google Assistant will pull up information on how to purchase tickets and give you the option of adding an event to your calendar.
This is how our brains work. We get excited about something, we snap a photo and we may or may not circle back to looking up the information. With Google Lens, you truly have a personal assistant with you at all times.
Anyone with a smartphone will be able to use this. With no barrier to mass adoption, nothing can stop Google Lens.
What Will Google Lens Recognize?
Google Lens will essentially recognize anything. That’s the goal anyway. Shoes, clothes, storefronts, etc.
However, it won’t JUST recognize physical items of a clear monetary value as one would imagine it would.
It can recognize nature. If you snap a photo of a flower, for example, you can find out what kind it is without having to type in any additional information. This is the fruit of the labor of the internet of things on an entirely different level.
In addition, it can also connect you to WIFI by taking a photo of the sticker of a password on a router. Instead of shouting out characters when a friend comes over and tries to connect, they will be able to join you on your network with a single snap.
What Makes It So Exciting?
The dawn of Google Lens is as bright as it appears. We keep hearing exciting stories about AI and how technology is merging with what we always envisioned. It’s all happening.
If you genuinely deliver the excitement and value that your audience craves, Google Lens will work for you.
People make purchases when their friends and family make recommendations and sometimes if celebrities do too. With Google Lens, people will be recommending places and products like never before, even those who don’t make time to write out reviews for Yelp or Google Places.
Pinterest has already started experimenting with this type of technology in terms of creating brand evangelists. You snap a photo and you get information on what you just snapped and suggestions of similar recipes, products, etc.
What Shazam did for music is what Pinterest lens does for photos. Very cool indeed. However, not everyone uses Pinterest. Everyone uses Google!
What This Could Lead To
SEO is no longer the mountain that businesses should die on. It’s finally time to shift from investing your budget into hacks and link buying and work on your brand.
Why would someone type in your business’ name when they can just snap a photo? Furthermore, if someone is snapping your photo, they are genuinely interested in your business.
Those of you who have been investing and focusing on building your brand are in luck. Those of you who have been putting the cart before the horse throwing money away on antiquated techniques without a clear picture of who you are and what you can deliver have to wake up.
When Is Google Lens Happening?
There is no official launch date for the full version, but we know when it comes to Google, they don’t hold out when they’re ready to launch a new feature. It could be any day now. We are in the countdown.
Google has already applied with the U.S. Patent Office with its “Smart Camera User Interface” system.
It’s already available in BETA for Android if you want to check it out.
Considering the early information we have access to, we may even be setting our expectations low. I’m prepared to be impressed.
What Does This Mean For Businesses?
If you’re the type of person that has a business or is marketing a business that you truly believe in, Google Lens unlocks a world of possibilities.
If you’re the type of person who is unsure of your visuals, your vision, and your brand, the idea of Google Lens may leave you feeling short sighted.
Now is the time to dream bigger. Invest in your brand or else people will simply not notice you. If they do and you’re not delivering on their expectations, your business will also suffer.
More than ever before, you must have your digital house in order. People will be taking your picture, your business’ storefront, and photos of your product. You will be exposed.
If you’ve been considering shifting your SEO budget over to improving your visual assets and overall web presence, there’s never been a better time to do it.
Once Google Lens comes out of Beta, people will be using it more than they will be typing in search terms and it will happen fast. That is my prediction.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.