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Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL phones will get 'preview' of Google Lens

The AR-driven image-recognition tech could help Google bring its search powers into the real world.


A look at Google Lens image-recognition software.


If you can't wait to get Google Lens, you'll need to pay up for a new Google phone.

The search giant said the image-recognition technology will preview on its Pixel phones first, including its new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which were revealed at a hardware launch event Wednesday. The feature will be built into Google Photos and Google Assistant.

Google last year showed off Google Lens, which blends image-recognition and augmented-reality tech to let you point your phone camera at different objects to get more information about them. Wondering what kind of flower that is? Google Lens will figure it out and tell you. How about the ratings on local restaurants? The software will do that, too.

Lens was considered one of the more interesting concepts from last year's Google I/O developer conference and offered a potentially more practical use for augmented reality aside from games like Pokemon Go. By bringing Lens exclusively first to the new Pixel phones, Google may be hoping to build up demand for its devices while also expanding its search capabilities into the real world.

Google Pixel 2 event live: Watch the livestream of Google's press conference.

Everything Google just announced: Every story from today's event.