American Express and Google have partnered for Small Business Saturday this weekend to create large murals across four prominent U.S. cities – Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. However, these aren’t just any murals – they feature many Google Shopping “tag” icons that can be scanned directly using Google Lens on your phone. Once you do, you’ll be taken directly to a listing to purchase those items. All of this is done with nothing more than just images, meaning that Google has effectively created a full-fledged physical store with just a wall and some paint.
Obviously, the truth is more than that though, as the company has been developing Lens with advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning for years. Most prominently, the tool relies on what’s called “computer vision” to identify relevant images and text, presenting the user with a bunch of relevant results across many useful categories including Shopping, Images, Text, and so on.
The murals you see depicted below were created by four separate artists in an effort to highlight their “vibrant communities and local small businesses”. Each one is incredible in its own way, and they all feature vastly different artistic styles. Because of their focus, all results that Lens pulls up for those who scan hotspot tags on the murals will take them directly to local small businesses for that area or city. Google has always done a lot to spotlight small businesses and their products, and this latest effort is more exciting than ever before as it gives the individuals in those communities a chance to participate in bringing revenue and attention to their favorite locales.
If you happen to be near one of these four major cities, you can locate each mural using the Google Maps links below”
- Boston: Brighton Ave & Chester Street
- Chicago: Willis Tower, 233 Wacker Drive
- Los Angeles: Ocean Front Walk & 19th Avenue
- New York: Bogart Street & Grattan Street
How often do you support local or small businesses in your own hometown? If you consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these places and their owners, even with small business loans being handed out to soften the punches, they can still use your help. Not on that, but small business is the lifeblood of the economy, as most innovation, quality, authenticity, and competition come in at the lower levels, not up where the corporations sit and feast.