Imagine seeing someone on the train wearing a jacket you really like, or perhaps it’s a pair of trainers. Rather than going up and asking them, Google believes it has the answer with a new technology that’s basically ‘Shazam for clothes’.
It’s called Style Match for Google Lens and it works by scanning what a person’s wearing and then telling you not only what it is but also where you can buy it.
Now this is undoubtedly a pretty incredible piece of technology but we can’t help but think how creepy it is as well.
If that wasn’t enough it’ll also show you accessories that could match with it such as a bag or a pair of sunglasses.
Sound like a step too far? It also begs the question: are people likely to ask one another for permission to be scanned by Google Lens or, as is more likely, are we now just going to start going round slyly scanning each other so we can buy the trainers they’re wearing?
Also it’s worth noting that while the app isn’t technically taking a picture, it’s not really clear how much of what the app is seeing is being sent back to Google.
Google Lens works using an AI technology called machine learning. Put simply, Google has fed its computers millions of images of clothes in every conceivable colour, size and at every angle.
The more images it sees, the better it gets at recognising them which begs the question, is Google seeing the clothes you’re seeing as well? And if so, is it seeing the person?
However you feel about it, Style Match will become available in the next few days/weeks as Google rolls out the update. To access it you simply bring up the Google Assistant on your Android device and then tap the Google Lens icon in the bottom right-hand corner.