Google Lens leverages computer
vision and artificial intelligence
to understand images
At Google’s (Menlo Park, CA, USA; www.
google.com) I/O Developer Conference from
May 17-19, CEO Sundar Pichai announced
a new technology called “Google Lens” that
utilizes computer vision and artificial intelligence technologies that enables your smart-phone to understand what you’re looking at
and help act based on that information.
“So for example if you run into some-
thing and you want to know what it is—say
a flower—you can invoke Google Lens from
your Assistant, point your phone at it and we
can tell you what flower it is,” said Sundar
Pichai, Google CEO at the conference. “Or,
if you’ve ever been at a friend’s place and
you’ve crawled under a desk just to get the
username and password from a Wi-Fi router,
you can point your phone at it and we can au-
tomatically do the hard work for you.”
He added, “Or, if you’re walking in a street
downtown and you see a set of restaurants
across the way, you can point your phone, be-
cause we know where you are, and we have
our Knowledge Graph, and we know what
you’re looking at, we can give you the right
information in a meaningful way.”
Pichai noted that Google was built because
they “started understanding text and web
pages, so the fact that computers can under-
stand images and video has profound impli-
cations for our core mission.”
Google Lens will first ship in Google Assis-
tant and Photos, and will come to other prod-
ucts in the future. Scott Huffman, Vice Presi-
dent, Assistant, also provided some details on
how Google Lens can be used.
“So, last time I traveled to Osaka, I came
across a line of people waiting to try some-
thing that smelled amaz-
Computer vision enables new whiteboard
sharing software for video conferencing
Panoramic imaging company Altia Systems
(Cupertino, CA, USA; www.altiasystems.
com) has partnered with Intel (Santa Clara,
CA, USA; www.intel.com) to launch PanaCast Whiteboard, a computer vision software
that detects content on an existing whiteboard
and displays it as an individual screen within
a video conference.
Panacast Whiteboard is designed to be
a computer vision capability for the PanaCast 2 camera system from Altia Systems.
Panacast 2 is a panoramic camera system
with three separate imagers and an adjust-
able field of view through a USB video class
(UVC) PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) command set.
The camera has USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 in-
terfaces and features a 180° wide by 54° tall
field of view, enabling it to see an entire
meeting space without the use of electro-
mechanical PTZ cameras.
To capture images from all three imagers
and to provide panoramic video, the Pana-
Cast features a patent-pending Dynamic
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