Google Search can now sift through your personal photos
By Daniel Ionescu
This might sound a bit creepy, but Google will now let you search through your own photos on Google+ via the main Google Search bar.
The feature helps you find photos you uploaded on Google+ by typing the “my photos” prefix followed by your search term in the Google Search box. What’s interesting about this feature is that thanks to a hefty dose of maching learning, Google can recognize general concepts in your photos, so you can search for specific terms such as food, flowers, or sunsets rather than relying on file or album names.
For example, you can search for “my photos from San Francisco last year” or “my photos of food” and Google Search will display a set of results from your uploads. Google says this feature works only when you are signed into your Google+ enabled Google account, and the results are only visible to you, although they are displayed from the main Google Search page.
The custom search terms for your photos are currently available only in English on Google.com. You can also use the semantic photo search in the photos module on Google+.
Google Search Product Manager Matthew Kulick said in a blog post the new feature should be particularly useful as “in many cases, searching for your photos can be challenging because the information you’re looking for is visual,” and “they are increasingly difficult to manage as you build up your photo library, accumulate new devices and make new friends.”
The photo semantic search is only the latest such feature Google has integrated into Search. Last year Google began experimenting with unearthing relevant information from your inbox about flights, restaurant bookings, or purchases directly into search results, via card-like displays similar to Google Now on Android.
Those are called Google field trials and are limited to @gmail.com users in the U.S. If you sign up, Google Search will be able to pull from your inbox relevant information on your flights (search “my flights”), upcoming calendar events, documents stored on your Google Drive, recent receipts (search “my purchases”), event tickets you bought through Ticketmaster or Eventbrite (search “my events”), and event hotel or restaurant reservations (search “my hotel/restaurant reservations”).
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