Pinterest takes a leaf out of Shazam’s book with new feature ‘Lens’

Pinterest takes a leaf out of Shazam’s book with new feature ‘Lens’

Pinterest's Lens feature
Pinterest introduced an app last month that allows users to identify objects in the real world. The new feature, titled Lens, allows the Pinterest smartphone app to identify objects and thereafter, show you images and information about similar objects uploaded by other Pinterest users. The app functions almost as a kind of ‘Shazam’ for objects. Whether you point it at food, furniture or even the night sky, the Pinterest tool will use its machine vision to display objects that it believes are related.

In a demonstration for the feature, Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp used Lens to detect a pomegranate. Pinterest returned results for pomegranate bread, pomegranate sandwiches, and tips for peeling pomegranates. Sharp also described an instance in which Lens was pointed towards the night sky. Pinterest in turn, brought up a selection of nigh-time landscape photos.

According to Pinterest, the introduction of Lens has led the social platform to create a new kind of search result that displays objects in context. If you used Lens on a jumper, the app would show you that jumper, styled in different ways.

The feature uses the same underlying visual search technology that Pinterest introduced in November 2015 that allows users to pick out a favourite part of a pin and search for examples of similar objects. Users are able to find related pins by tapping the circle in the bottom-right corner of each pin. Pinterest also introduced a tool titled “Shop the Look”. This identifies items in pins that can be bought and offers the user links on where they can make the purchase.

Lens is currently being rolled out to Pinterest users on Android and iOS in the USA, though a release date for the rest of the world is yet to be announced.

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