Today at TechCrunch50 in San Francisco, Bing, the 3rd most used search engine in the world, announced they are launching
Bing version two with visual search.
Visual search will allow the user to visually guide their search as opposed to text, which is now the prominent type of
search. One of the examples Bing used today while unveiling the product, was the purchasing of digital cameras. On most
search engines entering the query "digital camera" will produce relevant text results with a set of pictures of product
examples. Now, with Bing's visual search, you have the ability to continue the text search visually.
Going back to the digital camera example above, this is an example of the new Bing Visual Search. When the typical text
and picture search results come up, you will see a term called "search visually" next to the pictures of the products. By
selecting this the user will be able to see how many visual results Bing has as indicated by a number in the top right. In
addition, you will be able to flip through the pictures with ease like a giant slide show.
What might make this visual search more powerful than those in the past is the way that you can define information in Bing
Visual Search. In the camera example you can chose which cameras are the most popular based on searches by others or which
are the newest products. The user can even define how many megapixels the camera needs to have, what zoom is required, and
what price range the user wants to search in. The visual results in Bing change to match your criteria.
I have to admit, that I don't use Bing very much as I am used to Google, but this new feature in Bing might have me trying
more searches on Microsoft's search engine. The question is, will this just be a momentary fad? Other visual searches have
been tried in the past and people loved them at first but eventually went back to text such as Google. One thing is for sure,
the search war is heating up again and Microsoft has just fired a big shot over Google's bow. How will Google respond?
About the Author:
Damien is the Founder and CEO of FindAnyFloor.com as well as several other technolgy businesses specializing in social media and search.