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Google brings Lens to KaiOS to overcome literacy barriers
by Paul Hill
Google has announced that availability of Lens on KaiOS devices through the Google Assistant. Right now, the feature is available to those in India by heading to Assistant (press and hold the centre button from the home screen), pressing the camera icon, and then pointing the phone at some text. Users can then have the writing read back to them if they cannot read themselves, or have it translated or defined.
Right now, Lens on KaiOS supports several languages including English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, and Tamil. In the future, Google will extend support for the Kannada and Gujarati languages. Pressing the right soft key once within Assistant will let you access the different languages.
Commenting on the launch of Lens on KaiOS, Google said:
According to the latest information on StatCounter, KaiOS is currently the third most popular mobile operating system in India. KaiOS attempts to bridge the gap between feature phones and smartphones by keeping the former’s form factor but including some features, like Google Assistant, that you’d find on a smartphone. Due to the form factor, these devices are more affordable for those with a lower income.
Snapchat and artist Damien Hirst launch new lens
by Paul Hill
Snap Inc has announced that it has partnered with British artist Damien Hirst to launch a new Snapchat lens inspired by Hirst’s spin paintings. The new lens, which is available worldwide, lets Snapchatters create their own spin paintings from the comfort of their own home.
Commenting on the partnership, Damien Hirst said:
According to a post on Twitter, the artistic lens will let you tap “more” in order to make a donation to Partners in Health which will subsequently be used to fund the organisation COVID-19 fund.
In its announcement, Snap mentioned that Hirst allowed visitors to an exhibition in 1994 have a go at making their own spin paintings. With the launch of this lens, Hirst and Snap hope to further democratise art by letting everyone make their own creations.
Huawei again caught passing DSLR photos as being shot from its own smartphones
by Rajesh Pandey
Back in 2018, Huawei was caught passing off some photos taken from its mid-range Nova 3 when they were actually shot using a DSLR. The company had been caught using similar unethical tactics before as well with its P30 series. Fast forward to a couple of years later and Huawei has again been caught doing the same thing.
Huawei recently ran a photography contest on China's Weibo platform and shared some of the photos submitted to it with the "taken with Huawei smartphones" tagline in a video. However, it was soon discovered that some of the photos select from the competition were taken with DLSRs. The issue was first discovered by Jamie-hua after he thought the photos shared in the video from Huawei looked familiar and eventually he found one of the photos on 500x which was taken from a $3,000 Nikon D850 DSLR and not a Huawei smartphone.
The image in question/ Credit: Su Tie After being called out, Huawei issued an apology saying it was an "oversight" by the editor who "wrongly marked" the photos. The company has since then already updated the original video to remove mention of the photos being taken from a Huawei smartphone. The company claimed that the competition rules did not prohibit users from posting photos taken from other non-Huawei devices.
Huawei smartphones are known to have impressive cameras, so it's unclear why this phenomenon of passing DSLR photos as ones being shot from its phones keep occurring.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
All online classes on Nikon School are free this month
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Image credit: Edgar Varjapetyanvia (Wallpapers Wide) In an attempt to keep its customers "inspired, engaged and growing," Nikon USA has made its entire curriculum of online photography classes free of cost this month (via The Verge). Until the end of April, all 10 classes, which cost between $15 and $50 each, can be streamed for free. The company wrote on its website:
The ten classes, which are taught by professional photographers and often Nikon ambassadors, range in length from 15 minutes to over an hour. Several of these classes cover Nikon-related products while others teach the basic know-how of photography. Even if you are not a Nikon camera owner, you still might learn something from these classes.
If you're interested in streaming for the courses, you should visit Nikon's official website. After signing up using your name and email address, you will be able to view the classes. There is also an option to opt-out of receiving marketing emails.
Google announces new features for Search and Lens
by João Carrasqueira
At its Google I/O keynote, the search giant announced new features for its search experience, as well as Lens and Google Go. In search, Google will offer 3D models of objects or creatures you search for, and even see them in real-life scale in front of you thanks to augmented reality. For example, you can see a great white shark in 3D, or examine what muscle flexion looks like.
Google Lens is also getting more capabilities for specific scenarios. You'll soon be able to point your camera at a restaurant menu and have Lens highlight the more popular items right on top of it. You can also learn more about each dish and read comments from within Lens. Lens can also help you calculate the tip on your tab by pointing at the receipt, and it can split the bill for you.
Google is also working with magazines, such as culinary publications, so that users can point their camera at a recipe and see it being prepared in real-time, with a video overlaid on top of the magazine.
Additionally, the Google Go app, which ships with low-end phones running Android Go, will now let users open the camera from the Google search bar and take a picture of any text in front of them. The phone can then read it aloud to them or translate it, and then read back the translated text as well. Google managed to do all of this with an app package that's just over 100KB in size.
All of these features will start to be available later this month.