Online Innovation September 15th, 2009
Microsoft has introduced a new enhancement called ‘Visual Search’ to Bing. Tagged with a beta label, this new feature is available to the US audience only. Microsoft has announced the launch of ‘Visual Search’ at the prestigious Techcrunch50 Conference in San Francisco. You can check it out either by visiting www.bing.com/visualsearch or access it directly from Bing’s homepage.
Visual Search will allow Bing users to find information about certain items by looking just at their images. It’s doesn’t matter if the user is not sure about what to search about the item textually. All the searcher needs to do is hover the mouse over the images and a variety of details will be displayed. Visual Search is now available for a select few categories but more categories are expected to be added in the near future.
In a blog post on Monday Bing product manager Todd Schwartz said announced:
“Visual Search is a new way to formulate and refine your search queries through imagery, particularly for sets of results that tend to be more structured. We call these data groupings galleries. Visual Search allows you to quickly scroll through the galleries or do a one-click refinement using the quick tabs on the left, which are specifically relevant to the type of results you are browsing through.”
Powered by Microsoft’s Silverlight Web display technology ‘ Visual Search’ is yet another new feature from Microsoft’s arsenal to attempt to close on Google’s mammoth search market share which stood at 83.33% last month. Microsoft’s grand plans already started with the ‘Microhoo’ deal in July under which Bing will provide the search technology to Yahoo.
By unveiling ‘Visual Search’ corporate giant Microsoft is hoping to offer something unique to the searching world. Until now users have been navigating the internet mainly through textual hyperlinks. But with ‘Visual Search’ a new graphical way of surfing the web has just arrived. Google has no equivalent feature in its site yet and in the battle for search supremacy ‘Visual Search’ may be showing us all how much Google likes a little competition. Looking at the smooth manner in which it has been implemented, Bing seems set to win more users and gain market share.
A sign of things to come?