Thursday, June 01, 2017

Bing Visual Search

For anyone who's used Google's image search functionality, you can upload a personal image or an image from a webpage and using their image recognition functionality, matches to that image will appear. When no matches are found, visually similar images will appear. A number of other websites have been working on image recognition technology, such as Pinterest, but Microsoft just unveiled its version of image search called, Bing Visual Search.

From my understanding, the key difference is you can now upload a photo to Bing, and search for a specific image within an image. The example given is uploading a picture of a kitchen, but then selecting just the chandelier with a selector tool, and Bing can search for just images of that chandelier.

The reverse image search has been around for several years, but interestingly, it doesn't seem as though there's really much marketing associated with this form of search. Unlike traditional search, where paid results based on adwords are among the top results, reverse image search only yields images. It will be interesting to see how this evolves, and if the marketing world can find out how to incorporate this in their tool kit, or if it ever gains enough popularity to become viable. I feel like Bing's latest enhancement is a step in the right direction.

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