Bing has been updated with a new reverse image search feature. Known as Visual Search, it allows users to search for other publications of an image online. After opening the Bing app, either for iOS or Android, users can take a photo using their device’s built-in camera, after which the Bing app will search for content related to that photo online.
As reported by The Verge, Visual Search works like Google Lens. Also available for iOS and Android, the Google Lens app allows users to search for content related to an image online. You take a photo of something, and the app uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify the object, person or landscape in the photo and search for it online. Bing’s Visual Search performs this same task to offer a higher level of search functionality to Bing users.
When announcing Visual Search, Microsoft’s Vince Leung explained that text is only one way to search for something online. According to Leung, not every search query can be structured as text. In some cases, an image is a more effective searching solution, and that’s the basis on which Visual Search was created.
The possibility of Visual Search are endless. If a user is traveling in a foreign country and stumbles upon a historic monument, for example, he or she can learn more about it using the newly updated Bing app. Even if the user doesn’t know the name of the monument, Visual Search will automatically try to identify it and provide the user with relevant, accurate information.
Another application for Visual Search is to identify dog breeds. If a user sees a dog and wants to learn the breed, he or she can take a photo of it using the Bing app. These are just a few ways to use Visual Search. Bing’s reverse image search feature offers a myriad of other possibilities. And because the technology is still new, it’s safe to assume that Microsoft will continue to improve and optimize it in the months to come.
Visual Search is currently available on Bing’s Android and iOS app as well as the Microsoft Launcher for Android and Edge browser for Android. However, Microsoft says it’s planning to roll out the feature to the Edge browser for iOS as well.