Google CEO Sundar Pichai talks about Google Lens and updates to the Google Assistant during the keynote address of the Google I/O conference, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Mountain View, Calif. Google provided the latest peek at the digital services and gadgets that it has assembled in the high-tech tussle to become an even more influential force in people's lives. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

CAPE TOWN – Google announced in a blog post that its AI-powered camera tool known as Google Lens can now recognize over a billion items.

First launched in 2017,  the tool is used to scan images or items through the app to receive information by using Lens.

For example, if you can scan a country's flag you'll receive more information about that country or if you scan a flower, you'll find out what type it is. 

The company said in a blog post: "The way we use our cameras is not the only thing that’s changing: the tech behind our cameras is evolving too. As hardware, software, and AI continue to advance, I believe the camera will go well beyond taking photos—it will help you search what you see, browse the world around you, and get things done.

That’s why we started Google Lens last year as the first step in this journey. Last week, we launched a redesigned Lens experience across Android and iOS, and brought it to iOS users via the Google app."

The expansion comes over a year after the Google Lens’ optical character recognition engine has been trained on reading more product labels. 

The 1 billion items figure comes from products available through Google Shopping but it can also recognize people, Wi-Fi network names, and geometric shapes, create a contact from a business card or identify a landmark and more. 

lens lamp

( Photo: Lens offers style suggestions. Google)