Google Photos can make a phone call from a photo of a business card

Screenshot of my Business Card album in Google Photos (blurring added)

For years, I’ve wanted a simple system for storing business cards people give me along my travels. The operative word is simple! Sometimes they’re important, like my insurance agent’s card, and sometimes it’s just friendly, like the camper next door who tells us to stop by if we ever pass near their home. Sometimes it’s just a scrap of paper with a name and phone number written on it!

I like being able to see the actual card rather than the scanned information. I might remember the look of the card before the person’s name. So, I take a picture of the card – nothing special, just a picture taken with my smartphone. That puts it into Google Photos, then I have an album called business cards and make sure all those business card photos get put into that album so I can find them easily.

Google Photos can Read Business Cards

Here’s the magic part. If you open the card’s photo using Google Photos, you can tap the button called Lens, it’s the 3d button at the bottom and it looks like a square with a dot in the middle. Google then unleashes it’s artificial intelligence to read that card and shows you the name, address, phone number and email that it finds on the card. You then have the choice to add this information to your Contacts, or to use it right from Google Photos to make a phone call or send an email to this person.

In episode 153 of our YouTube show: What Does This Button Do? our guests were Eric and Tami Johnson of TechnoRV. We demonstrated the Google Lens technique on their business card. You can see that portion of the show here. Also, if you have Mrs. Geek’s Guide to Google Photos, you can read about the Lens feature on page 78.

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