Microsoft is once again boosting the capabilities of Bing Search with machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques. This time the company has announced Visual Search capabilities that are powered by Bing.
Visual Search is something we first reported on last year. Back then, Microsoft was still experimenting with the service by integrating Object Detection.
Objects of interest are denoted by Bing, which will detect and mark items in an image. Clicking one of these marked hotspots allows Visual Search to automatically select it. Like before, the results will be shown in the Related Products and Related Images sections.
The core capability of the feature allows users to use their camera to perform web searches. Microsoft says Visual Search tools are available from today on Android and iOS. On Google’s mobile platform, users can also use the service through an integration with the Microsoft Launcher.
It is worth noting that Visual Search for Bing is only currently available in the United States. Interestingly, the feature will also be coming to the web. Microsoft says the ability is available from today on Microsoft Edge for Android. iOS Edge and Bing.com will receive Visual Search soon.
As mentioned, Visual Search allows users to search through their camera. This means it is possible to take a photo or upload an image from your gallery to search and identify objects within the photo. Bing will surface information results on objects as it would any other search term.
A big part of Visual Search for Bing is the ability to shop for items:
“You can even shop from your photos for fashion and home furnishings. Let’s say you see a friend’s jacket you like, but don’t know its brand or where to purchase. Upload a pic into the app’s search box and Bing will return visually-similar jackets, prices, and details for where to purchase.”