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Google Lens gets first grocery and supermarket AR integration

At I/O 2019 in May, Google updated Lens to be a portal to augmented reality experiences. Pointing Google Lens at a painting in a museum could bring more information about the artwork, while there are already AR ads from Stranger Things and Cyberbunk 2077. The latest example of Google Lens AR is for groceries in supermarkets.

Starting today, pointing Google Lens at products from Uncle Ben’s will offer a card with recipes, videos, ingredient lists, and nutritional advice. Mars Food worked with Innit for this digital experience.

A dot will appear over the product and tapping slides up an “Explore” panel that previews the item and links to the other information. Shoppers could find the details helpful while shopping in store, but it’s equally useful at home when planning meals.

Google refers to Lens AR experiences as “Living Surfaces.” A wide-range of outputs are available after pointing your phone at an object. For example, NBA logos will provide live scores during a game. Cyberbunk 2077 had posters last month that displayed gameplay footage.

What makes this augmented reality is how Lens blends videos and animations with the physical environment by keeping the object that launched the experience — and physical surroundings — in your phone’s viewfinder.

Hundreds of thousands of Uncle Ben’s product this month will feature a sticker advertising the Google Lens AR experience. Past ads have been marked with the Lens camera logo and a link to The feature is built into Android and a part of the Google Search app on iOS.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: