Bing Visual Search - gHacks Tech News

Bing Visual Search

One of the new improvements that Microsoft introduces in their search engine Bing is a Silverlight driven visual search engine. Visual search meaning that pictures will be used to display and navigate the search results instead of text and text links. The benefit is a better search experiment with the limitation that it only works for specific topics and not every search. Microsoft has created roughly 30 different visual search niches in the categories entertainment, famous people, reference, shopping and sports. The shopping category contains the visual search topics cell phones, digital cameras, new cars, handbags and HDTVs.

A click on any topic will open the results in an image grid. The results are automatically sorted. The cell phone results page for instance sorts the different cell phones by brand. Hovering over a cell phone will display a search term in the Bing search box; A click will perform a normal search in Bing for the search term.

bing visual search

Various sorting options are provided in a drop down menu at the top. Cell phones can for example be sorted by Bing popularity or contract price while the movies in theater can be sorted by release date, title, metacritic rating or weekend box office earnings.

The search engine will automatically sort the results without reloading the page. Bing's visual search can be a comfortable way of exploring specific information. It is handy for Internet users who want to research specific topics like movies that are currently playing in cinema, popular books, top iPhone apps and dog breeds. This is especially a good solution for users who do not know where to look for this information. Internet veterans usually know the websites that they have to open to find the information that they are looking for.

Bing Visual Search (link) is an interesting concept but it is currently limited to a few dozen popular topics, probably to ensure that the quality of the results remains high. It is probably not going to be introduced on a larger scale in the near future.

Update: Bing Visual Search is only available to visitors who are using the United States version of the search engine (maybe some others but that has not been tested). If another country is shown in the top right corner then a page not found error is displayed. To access visual search users need to change the country to United States.

Update 2: Bing Visual Search has been removed, the address is returning a 404 not found error. We have removed the link as a result.

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Comments

  1. paulus said on September 15, 2009 at 1:43 am
    Reply

    The links does not work I get the notice that the address does not exist?

  2. Martin said on September 15, 2009 at 9:23 am
    Reply

    Paulus you need Silverlight installed.

  3. paulus said on September 15, 2009 at 1:26 pm
    Reply

    Hoi Martin i have uninstalled and installed again installed main Microsoft® Silverlight 3.0.40818 (to be absolute sure) and with everything else main Silverlight works fine. Only with your link i still get the the notice that the address does not exist?

    1. Martin said on September 15, 2009 at 1:39 pm
      Reply

      I really do not know why this is happening Paulus. I tested the link after you have posted your first comment and it is working fine for me.

  4. BalaC said on September 15, 2009 at 2:15 pm
    Reply

    The link doesn’t work for me either.

  5. yogi said on September 15, 2009 at 2:55 pm
    Reply

    Th e link doesn’t for me either.

    Anyway, why do i have to install anything just to use a search engine? Don’t have to do that wth google or yahoo.

    1. Martin said on September 15, 2009 at 2:58 pm
      Reply

      Ok I now why it is now working. Visual Search is only available to visitors from the United States (maybe some other countries). I switched from the Us to Germany to check it out and discovered that I also received a page not found error. You can switch the country in the top right corner of Bing.

  6. Midhun said on January 8, 2011 at 11:27 am
    Reply

    Hi,
    As i change my preferences to united-states and begin to search for example yoga poses,country/region is changing automatically to the location of my city and i cant able to search or visual images.

    I have Silverlight plug-in installed 4.0.50917.0

  7. Midhun said on January 8, 2011 at 11:28 am
    Reply

    Hi,
    As i change my preferences to united-states and begin to search for example yoga poses,country/region is automatically changing to the location of my city and i cant able to search visual images.

    I have Silverlight plug-in installed 4.0.50917.0

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