Google Lens can be used to translate menus and highlight top meals, and it can tell you all about local art installations. Now Netflix is using it to promote the new season of Stranger Things.

First debuted in 2017, Google Lens is the internet giant’s computer vision-powered augmented reality-infused search tool that can recognize billions of entities in the real world, including animals and celebrities. Now, for one day only, those who buy a print edition of the New York Times will be able to point their phone’s camera at one of three Netflix ads for Starcourt Mall (a fictional mall in Stranger Things) and bring it to life.

Above: Starcourt Mall ad (New York Times)

Google is just the latest technology company to partner with Netflix in promoting the third season of its show — earlier this week Microsoft embraced 1980s’ nostalgia by launching a Windows 1.0 app that enables younger users to enjoy experience the early days of desktop computing — with Stranger Things deeply embedded into the app.

Those wishing to unlock the latest Stranger Things ads in today’s New York Times will need Google Assistant on Android or the main Google app on iOS devices, while Lens is also available in the camera app on some Android phones.



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