Bing Gets New 'Visual Search' Feature, Competes With Google Lens

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Microsoft is not going to let Google have all the fun. The company has recently unveiled Visual Search for Bing, a feature that's expected to complete with Google Lens.

Visual Search is a new AI-powered search function that builds on the Intelligent Search feature that Bing rolled out in December of last year. The feature allows users to search the web or look for products via photos saved on their camera rolls or pictures they have taken. For instance, you can find more information about an unfamiliar flower or an interesting building you came across by taking a photo through the Bing app or by uploading it from your device. The Visual Search feature will then identify the subject and provide you with links containing key information about it.

Consumers will also be able to shop for clothes, accessories, or furniture in the same way. Let's say a woman sees a necklace she likes. She can take a shot or upload a picture of the item and Visual Search will send her information on where she can buy the necklace, the price, and other details. The feature can also send her similar-looking products.

According to Vince Leung, Microsoft's product lead, there are instances where “it is almost impossible to describe what you want to search for using words.” Visual search will certainly ease that dilemma, especially as the algorithm the program uses is continuously learning. Since the algorithm works by using data that contains millions of images, the more data is searched for in Bing, the better the algorithm becomes.

Bing's core team stated that consumers can expect the Visual Search feature to expand and improve continuously. You can now avail of the function's latest version in the Bing app for Android and iOS. It's also available on Microsoft Launcher and the Edge browser for Android. Visual Search will also be available soon on the Bing.com and on Microsoft Edge for iOS.

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