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Google announces new features for its Search product

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Google has announced new releases for their Search product unlocking new capabilities on e-shopping, e-addresses and image-cum-video searching.

Speaking at the second annual SearchON event streamed globally, Prabhakar Raghavan, SVP Search at Google, said thenew innovations were aimed at improving lives where users can learn new skills, gain new knowledge as well as connect with products or services on demand via the internet.

“Since day one,  Google’s mission has been to organise the world’s information, make it universally accessible and useful.  Today, you can learn helpful new skills without having formal education.  Anyone can start a home business and instantly connect with billions of potential customers,”he said..

SVP Raghavan said creators, publishers and businesses were using the web as an avenue to publicise their works, reach customers and promote products as well as services.Students, parents and entrepreneurs as well as anyone seeking any information will tap into the endless knowledge from across the world.

The announcements include Multitask Unified Model (MUM) which will unlock deeper insights when one places a search request on Google Search.MUM can simultaneously understand information across a wide range of formats, like text, images and videos as well as draw insights from and identify connections between concepts, topics, and ideas about the world around us.

Commenting on MUM, Pandu Nayak, VP Search at Google added, “say I really like a pattern on a shirt but I feel that pattern should be much better on my socks.I can take a picture of the shirt and before posting zero in on the pattern I want.I will then add a text that I am looking for socks with such patterns. New information will pop up informing me of local and large chains that stock such products,” he said.

The  image and video search feature  Google Lens  now has a text box to support  visual searches enabling users to search for more details(information) on anything they select in a picture or video.

Google’s Shopping Graph, a comprehensive, real-time dataset of products, inventory and   merchants with over 24 billion listings has also been expanded with new  capabilities added to facilitate in-app transactions.

Matt Madrigal, VP Merchant Shopping at Google said this was aimed at making it easy to shop when one is inspired”, wants to explore and when ready make payments via online apps.

“We are making items you see online shoppable with Google Lens from your favourite chains and retailers. If you like what you see, you can use the in-stock filter to find a local store selling the item you,” he said.

Via the open-source system Plus Codes, governments and NGOs are able to provide addresses to people and businesses via Address Maker. The service is also available in Kenya, The Gambia, India, South Africa and the U.S.

Unknown to many,  Plus Codes aka PIN are derived from latitude and longitude coordinates, so they already exist everywhere  and are useful in places where there is no formal system to identify buildings, such as street names, house numbers, and post codes.

To mitigate effects of wildlife fires that deplete our forest cover in over 100 countries, Wildfire boundary map  tool  that is used to help people easily understand the approximate size and location of a fire — right from their device will now include emergency websites, phone numbers, and evacuation information from local governments, where provided with the tool now available on  Android, iOS and desktop starting this October.

Aerial imagery and advanced AI capabilities that identify places in a city greatest risk of experiencing rising temperatures due to lack of tree cover will be identified via Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) Tree Canopy tool, in100 cities during the first half of 2022 thereby enabling local governments insights about where to plant trees in order to increase shade and reduce heat.

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