Bing may not be your default search engine but with its latest addition, Microsoft is hoping to get you to reconsider. Expanding on the “Search by Image” capability added a few years back that let users conduct reverse image searches based on an entire image, Bing users are now able to search for specific objects in images thanks to the power of machine learning. Here’s how it works.
Say you’re searching Bing for decoration ideas for your upcoming kitchen remodel. When you click on a thumbnail of a photo that grabs your attention, you can now click the magnifying glass icon in the top left corner to visually search within the image.
The tool lets you isolate a section of the photo – say, a lamp or bar stool that you really like – and search for that item separately. If Bing detects “shopping intent,” it’ll also run a product search to find matching items that you can purchase.
Microsoft is quick to point out that visual search is still in its infancy. As such, they’re “aware of cases” where there is still room for improvement. Indeed, in my testing of the feature, it was far from perfect but impressive nevertheless.
If you’re interested in learning more, I’d highly recommend checking out the Bing Team’s blog post on the matter as they go into pretty extreme detail on the technology powering the new feature.