Years ago, Microsoft released a feature for its Bing search engine that lets users upload photos in lieu of text-based queries. It’s a helpful feature that will soon be added to a slew of mobile devices and browsers. Let’s take a closer look at what’s coming.
How does visual search work?
Bing has indexed billions of images posted on the internet and most of them have text descriptions of some sort. This has made it possible for Microsoft to create programs that look for similarities in image contents and labels to create computer-generated definitions of everyday objects. So if you were to take a photo of the White House and upload it to Bing, the search engine could tell you what it is without any human input.
Although it may seem like little more than a novelty, Visual Search makes it much easier for eCommerce shoppers to find niche products. Bing can help people identify hard-to-name items and suggest stores that sell them, such as “slip joint pliers” at a local hardware shop or “gaucho pants” at an online clothing retailer.
In June, Microsoft announced that Visual Search is now available within Bing’s iOS and Android apps, as well as Android’s Microsoft Launcher. Just open the app, tap the camera button and take a photo from your phone or choose an image from the gallery. If you’d like to narrow your search, tap the magnifying glass button and crop your image to highlight specific objects within the photo.
In the near future, Visual Search will be added to Microsoft’s Edge browser and Bing.com. It’s a useful feature for finding what you need and helping customers do the same. For insight and support related to any of Microsoft’s products, give our experts a call today.
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