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Google Lens rolls out Swahili services

Swahili speakers can now search for objects, translate languages, and even shop using the image recognition technology application Google Lens.

The technology which previously excluded at least 100 million Swahili speakers worldwide utilizes camera on smartphones to help users mostly in sub-Saharan Africa find information promptly as well as learn about strange insects, animals, plants, buildings, monuments, art, and statues according to Google Africa.

Google Lens which is available on Google Playstore and AppStore and is also accessible via Google Assistant on Android phones, as well as Google Photos. It allows users to have documents written in foreign languages translated by a simple tap on the app from the mobile phones,” said Dorothy Ooko Google Africa Head of Communications & Public Affairs.

For instance, if you go to a meeting and exchange businesses cards, the application lets you snap a picture of the card, and the information is immediately captured and saved, helping you avoid the hustle of keeping piles of cards in your wallet or drawer as many people do.

Traveling is fun right? However, it could be a nightmare if you find yourself lost or in trouble in a country where language is a barrier.

To solve this, the app allows users to have writings in foreign languages translated to a language one understands, say Swahili!

“Travellers visiting places and landmarks will see ratings, hours of operation as well as get historical facts about the landmarks before embarking to a ‘tech-guided’ journey back to their hotels. So if you are in Nairobi, Google Lens will know that it is more likely you are looking at the KICC rather than a similar-looking structure somewhere else in the world,” Ooko added.

According to the tech giant, the app also allows Swahili users to shop conveniently by searching for outfits they have seen others wearing and get directions to nearby stores where the item is available saving the time spent on searching for items on various e-commerce platforms or physical search of the item.

“Using a smartphone camera or uploading a digital image onto the Google Lens platform will see information about plants and animals generated on the spot,” said Google.

Swahili is now the 20th language available on Google Lens since its rollout almost five years ago.

Others are English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.