Text search can only take you so far. Sometimes, you know exactly what something looks like, but you just can’t remember the name. A new Bing feature called Visual Search will come in very handy in such cases.
Looking like something coming from Apple’s labs, Visual Search presents you with a grid of images, making it easy to find exactly what you need without having to know its exact name.
It works great when, for example, you’re shopping for gadgets or looking for a famous person whose name you just cannot remember. You can also start by browsing; for example, the Visual Search lets you visualize MLB players, after which you can filter them out by their earnings and various game stats.
The feature is powered by Silverlight, and the content for Visual Search is provided by several sources, one of them being MSN. The transitions look quite cool; I’d prefer a black over white background, but that’s a matter of personal preference. The layout may look too busy at first, with 50 images shown in the grid, but it’s actually not that hard for the brain to find the right image when you know what you’re looking for.
You’ve got to hand it to Microsoft, after switching from Live Search to Bing (and doing relatively well with it), they’ve been steadily introducing new features, focusing on the ones that their biggest competitor – Google – is lacking. Visual Search might not revolutionize search and make users suddenly start switching from Google to Bing, but it’s another piece of the puzzle that makes Bing competitive in the search game.
You can check this new feature out at Bing.com/visualsearch.
Reviews: Bing, Google