It doesn’t feel like almost a year ago since Google announced Google Lens. It’s Google’s machine learning system to assist your camera to help make your life easier. It helps it to identify what it’s looking at and then do or show you things based on what it sees. Now, Google has announced that it can see your pet. And not only see them but identify them. The goal is to offer you photo books and videos dedicated to your furry friend.
It’s not such a big leap, really. Even in its early days, it could detect different species of flower. So, it isn’t a much of a stretch to adapt this to animals. And now it can detect different breeds of dog or cat, and even identify your own individual pet. On the Google Blog, they highlight five particular points of the update, coming over the next week or so.
1. Create a photo book of your pet
Google say that starting this week, you may start to see the Google Photos app automatically creating a photo book of your pet. It uses its machine learning system to determine the best images, laying them out in book format. And if you’re in the US or Canada, all you need to do is choose whether you want a hard or soft cover book and order it.
2. Identify popular cat and dog breeds
We’ve all had times where we’ve seen a cute dog or cat and had no idea what the breed is. We don’t want to look like an idiot asking the owner “So, what is it?” so we often don’t ask. Soon, there’ll be no need to anyway. Simply grab a snap of it with your phone, and Google Lens will tell you what it is.
3. Create a movie about your pet
As well as producing photo books, Google Photos will also be able to make slideshow movies of your pet. If you’ve got enough photos, just head over to the Assistant tab and hit that movie button. There you’ll get the option to choose from either a “Meow Movie” or a “Doggie Movie” option. Choose your pet and it’ll set it to pet-themed music.
4. Label your pet to easily find photos of them
Nobody likes labels, but they’re a necessary evil when it comes to organising your photos. You’ll be able to label your pets just like you can with peoples names to be able to find photos of just them. Google says that the feature will allow you to get quite specific by searching for things like “Oliver Park” (assuming Oliver’s the name of your dog) to find just photos of Oliver in the park.
5. Search by breed
This could be a handy one for pet photographers who use their phone or tablet as a mobile portfolio. You can search by species, breed, or even animal emoji. Want to find photos of that iguana you photographed, or the puppy you were looking at last month, amongst the thousands of images on your device? Well, you’ll be able to do that quite easily.
While these might seem like cute and frivolous features aimed toward your average pet owner, they’re a good proof of concept to illustrate how well the technology is coming along. While they only specifically mention dogs and cats, parts of the Google Blog post do suggest it may be able to do the same for more, non-traditional species of animals, too (assuming there is some variety in appearance between individuals of that species).
So, for professional pet photographers, it could become a great way to be able to more easily sift and sort through your work to quickly find the specific images you want to show on your mobile portfolio device.