June 23, 2024

Google Revolutionizes Mobile Search with New “Circle to Search” AI Feature

Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Jan 22, 2024

Google has unveiled a groundbreaking new search capability for Android phones called “Circle to Search”, enabled by advanced AI technology. The feature allows users to circle any object with their finger to get detailed information and search results about it.

Overview of Circle to Search

Circle to Search, announced at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event on January 17th, 2024, lets Android users draw a circle around any object in the viewfinder of their phone’s camera. Powerful AI processes the circled object and returns relevant information and search results related to it.

For example, circling a landmark can provide historical facts, circling an appliance can show specs and reviews, circling a plant can identify it and provide care instructions, and more. Along with the information, users get links and images to learn even more.

Circle to Search works on any object the camera can see. It allows searching by just pointing rather than typing queries, making it intuitive and seamless.

The feature is launching first on the just-announced Samsung Galaxy S24 series. It will also come to the upcoming Google Pixel 8 series. Later in 2024, Google plans to roll Circle to Search out more broadly to other Android phone models as the AI capabilities improve.

How the New Search Capability Works

Circle to Search builds on Google’s existing Lens visual search tool, which identifies objects seen through the phone’s camera. But it makes the process far more intuitive by letting users simply circle anything to trigger a search.

Behind the scenes, advanced generative AI instantaneously analyzes the circled area to determine what the object is, then cross-references its database to find the most relevant information on it.

The AI leverages Google’s latest natural language models to analyze imagery and understand connections to pull up tailored results. It can understand nuances like circling a car’s wheel specifically to look up rim options rather than general specs on the car model.

Unique Benefits for Users

Circle to Search brings some major benefits over traditional search by typing words:

  • More intuitive way to specify search subjects
  • Works on any visible object without needing to know the name/description
  • Faster and more seamless than switching to the browser for a search
  • Results tailored to exactly the desired context

Rather than struggling to describe something for a search query, now users can simply circle anything the camera sees and immediately get contextual results.

Rollout Timeline

Here is the timeline for the rollout of Circle to Search:

  • January 2024:
    • Launch on Samsung Galaxy S24 series
  • Spring 2024:
    • Launch on Google Pixel 8 series phones
  • Later 2024:
    • Expand support to more Android phone models from Samsung, Google, and other manufacturers
  • 2025 and Beyond
    • Expand to more object/scene understanding
    • Refine AI to deliver more relevant results

So Galaxy S24 and the upcoming Pixel 8 will be the first phones with access. But by end of 2024, many more Android devices should offer the feature.

What This Means for the Future of Search

Circle to Search represents an exciting shift in mobile search driven by advancements in AI. As the AI capabilities improve, the search experience can become far more intuitive and seamless.

Rather than needing to manually type out words and phrases to describe what you want to search on, soon users may be able to simply point their camera at almost anything and immediately get tailored results.

This could transform how we interact with our devices to find information. Typing queries may become a thing of the past. Instead, AI will understand visual context and our exact informational needs in the moment.

The CEO of Google AI labs said, “This is only the beginning of a shift to visual-first search that understands images and scenes at a deeper level.”

What Experts Are Saying

Industry analysts and tech experts are excited about the potential of Circle to Search:

Expert Quote Publication
Patrick Moorhead, President Moor Insights & Strategy “Circle to Search catches objects in mid-air to return you the most useful, contextual information possible. This eliminates the need to switch apps to search; it’s effortlessly integrated into the camera viewfinder.” The Verge
Sascha Segan, Lead Mobile Analyst “This is an iconic moment heralding the mainstream arrival of multidimensional AI image recognition on phones…Circle to Search foreshadows search engines beginning to connect the real world and the internet automatically.” PCMag
Ben Wood, Chief Analyst, CCS Insight “Circle to search is another example of how AI will fundamentally change the way we interact with technology and make everyday tasks quicker and simpler.” Mashable

You can see tech experts are very bullish on this feature revolutionizing mobile search through AI. They think it provides effortless access to contextual information and foreshadows the future of AI-driven interfaces.

What Happens Next

  • As Circle to Search rolls out, Google will be closely monitoring how people use it and refining the AI to deliver better results.

  • They will expand support from the initial 1000 objects to be able to recognize a wider range of objects and contexts.

  • The AI models will become more powerful and efficient at parsing circled objects and understanding the exact information the user wants.

  • By late 2024, Circle to Search will likely expand from the initial Samsung/Google phones across the broader Android ecosystem.

So in the next 1-2 years, we will see this search capability become far more robust and widely available. It could fundamentally transform people’s expectations around accessing information on their mobile devices.

Rather than opening a browser and typing, soon it may become natural to simply circle things through the camera to instantly get information. Circle to Search ushers in an exciting new AI-driven era for mobile search.




AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Related Post