Microsoft Windows Gets Bing Visual Search Feature

Consumers who are at a loss for words to describe an item now have options.

With the latest releases of Windows, someone searching for information can use Windows Search to snip any part of their screen and query the image.

Forrester Research estimates visual search will take off for the fashion and home décor brands in 2020, especially when it comes to mobile.

“Despite Pinterest's initiatives, it is still early days for visual search,” wrote Thomas Husson, VP principal analyst at Forrester. “For selected brands, however, visual recommendations, and to a lesser extent, visual search will become key ways to engage consumers.”

For those thinking past the holidays and into spring and planting season, pictures of flowers found across the web can assist in creating the layout of a garden.

Visual Search allows users to take a screenshot to create an image. “Snip” the image of the plant or flower and use it to compare with others in Visual Search results by clicking the button in the bottom right corner of the screen. This feature is rolling out to users in the U.S. first with international markets to follow shortly after. This feature required the user to have the May 2019 Windows 10 update or newer.



The search options include “shop for similar,” “pages with this” or “similar images.”

Initially, Bing added camera-based searches in 2017, and made visual search features available in the Windows Photos App, Microsoft Edge, the Bing App, and on Android phones through Microsoft Launcher. 

In November, using the same concept, launched the first visual search engine for TV and film locations. It is AI-driven and uses machine learning to enable potential filming locations to be found using a photo rather than keywords.

Andrew Pavord, founder and chair of FilmFixer, told U.K.-based Broadcast that “existing location websites rely on keywords, an “inherently flawed” concept for visual business such as entertainment.

Location managers typically receive a photo accompanied by a request for a location, saying “I need something like this, but in Suffolk,” he told Broadcast. “It makes far more sense to drop that image into a search engine and add parameters such as, ‘inside the M25’ or ‘near Ipswich,’ than to endlessly type in keywords to try and get a match.”

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