At the TechCrunch event Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi demonstrated (see video) some new features of what’s informally being called Bing 2.0. Not all the new features launched today (there’s some interesting local stuff coming). What he did demo was “visual search,” which is built on Microsoft Silverlight.
SEL has a pretty complete overview of visual search and how it works. You can also read about it on the Bing blog post. Visual search doesn’t work for every query — and isn’t suited to every query — but it’s an interesting and promising alternative to conventional queries in the search box in some cases.
Here’s the visual search “homepage” reflecting the available categories:
Drilling down into “shopping“:
Now further into “iPhone apps”
And even further into “social networking” iPhone apps:
Microsoft has had great image search since before Bing (BB) and “visual search” is impressive and has a new and fresh feel, even though it’s not the first image-based search.
But will you use it? My mom will ’cause she prefers Bing. Test it out and let me know your thoughts.