Google Launches New Search, Map & Shopping Features
Google has announced new search features aimed at bringing search to more users in more helpful ways. The new features include upgrades to Google Lens translate, new AR shopping features, improvements to wheelchair accessibility and EV charging points on Google Maps, updates to Google Maps live view, and new ways to discover food dishes easily.
Upgraded Google Lens Translate
Google will be rolling out a huge update to the Google Lens translate capabilities before the end of 2022. This update will allow users to translate text on more complex backgrounds. Instead of covering the original text with a blurred box, Google will erase the original text and recreate the pixels underneath with an AI-generated background, then overlay the translated text on top of the image.
The technology used is the same as the “Magic Eraser” feature on Google Pixel phones.
New AR Google Shopping Features
Google has released new ways to shop in AR on Google, including a way to view your trainers in your space and a photo library to find your foundation shade. It can’t replace the feeling of visiting your favourite store, but it can help bring that experience to you in the comfort of your own home.
Try Out Trainers in 3D and AR
You can currently view furniture in your space with the AR home goods feature, however, Google expanded this last month so you are now able to shop for trainers using AR. You’re can now zoom, spin and see the shoes in your real-life space as you decide if the colour, style, laces, sole or tread suit your style.
Brands such as VANS, Merrell, and Saucony have already started using this feature, but any brand with 3D assets for trainers can now participate.
Google is investing in new technology to create 3D spins of shoes that isn’t as time-consuming and expensive for brands. They will start using this technology and have further announcements in the next couple of months.
Find Your Foundation Shade Using AR
Foundation can be one of the hardest makeup products to purchase, a slightly different colour or tone can make a big difference in matching your skin tone. It can be hard to find the right shade as the foundation on models doesn’t always reflect diversity, and in some cases, you can only find images of the product’s packaging or digital images of the shade.
To help tackle this issue, Google have released a new AR shopping feature that makes it easier to find your foundation match. Working with beauty brands, they have developed a photo library featuring 148 models representing a diverse spectrum of skin tones, ethnicities, skin types, ages, genders, and face shapes. Over time this will develop even more, but it’s a huge step forward in changing the way people shop for makeup online.
This new feature will allow you to search for a specific foundation product and shade from your favourite brand, then view before and after shots of what it looks like on models who are similar to you.
Google Maps Live View
Google Maps will now allow you to explore places intuitively thanks to search with Live View. This feature makes Google Maps feel and look more like the real world, you’ll be able to move your phone around and see arrows for directions, how far places are away from you, and explore what’s in your area.
They have already started rolling out this feature in London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Paris on Android and iOS.
Improvements to Wheelchair Accessibility
In 2020, Google launched accessible places in the UK, US, Australia, and Japan to help users know when a destination is wheelchair accessible. However, this feature is now available globally on Android and iOS, allowing people to understand the accessibility of a place and mitigate any issues before arriving at a destination.
You can access this feature by turning on “Accessible Places” in the Google Maps app. You will notice a wheelchair icon on the business profile if it has a wheelchair accessible entrance, or a strikethrough if it’s a non-accessible place. This feature will also show if the business has accessible parking, seating, and toilets.
EV Charging Filters Added
If you have a hybrid or electric car, it can be hard to find the best places to charge your vehicle whilst you’re out. Google has now added the ability to filter Google Maps for changing stations with fast-charging plugs, or stations with plugs compatible with your vehicle. This new feature will be available globally, wherever EV charging stations are situated.
Use Lens to Find Food Dishes Nearby
If you come across a meal that looks delicious and you want to try it out for yourself, you can now use the ‘multisearch near me’ feature which has just launched in English in the US. This allows you to take a quick photo or screenshot of a meal, then add the words ‘near me’ to find a place nearby that sells it.
“This new way of searching will help me find local businesses in my community, so I can more easily support neighbourhood shops during the holidays.” – Cindy Huynh, Product Manager, Lens
Search for Specific Food Dishes
In addition to using Google Lens, you can now search for the exact dish you’re craving and see all the places near you that serve it. It will also allow you to see specific details such as the restaurant, price, and ingredients. This feature is now available in English in the US.
At GA Agency we stay updated with the latest updates from Google as it’s important to understand if any of our clients can leverage from any of these features, as you may get more exposure from Google.
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