Bing has updated its iPhone App to include image-based searches. Image based searches allow users of the Bing app to take a picture (or use an existing image) instead of typing text into the search bar. Users simply have to install the Bing iPhone app and they will be able to start searching using photos.
To access the image search all you have to do is select the camera icon in the lower right corner and the app will access your camera. A frame will appear which allows users to expand or narrow the scope of the image being searched. Once you get the image you would like to search for in the frame you should be good to go, products and images similar to your image should appear in the search results.
While this new feature may be convenient and potentially useful, the technology still seems to be hit-or-miss right now, with many times Bing not able to recognize the object in the image. Some initial tests of the features proved to be fairly accurate with some items recognized and some “misinterpreted” until “reframed”. For example, an image of a colorful running shoe yielded results of a brightly colored arm tattoo. It wasn’t until it was reframed did Bing realize the image was of a running shoe.
Amazon also uses image search, which is useful as you can immediately buy the product you are looking for if desired. The results seem to be similar between the two platforms, with Bing getting some things right that Amazon did not, and the other way around.
As of right now this feature is only available on Bing’s iPhone iOS app. It is mostly likely only a matter of time until it becomes available for androids, and with improved accuracy.