I really like Bing’s new visual search feature. I like it partly because of what it does, but I like it even more for the fact that Microsoft is taking risks and exploring new ways to help users interact data.
If you’ve not yet seen it, got to http://bing.com/visualsearch.
However, some of the reaction to this new feature haven’t really understood what it is. ReadWriteWeb for example writes:
Bing will now give users the option to visualize the search results on a 3D grid with icons or photos.
In visual search, when you are looking at the visualization of icons, you aren’t looking at search results but a representation of the object. For example, this view of digital cameras:
is not a picture of a bunch of blue links but a matrix of all the cameras (camera concepts if you will).
You can filter this set by features of the concept type (in this case type, megapixels, optical zoom, brand and the qualitative ‘good for’).
Once you have selected one – by finally clicking on it – you then generate a search string which is passed to Bing’s traditional search interface. This will then bring you to the standard set of blue links.
Chris Dannen at Fast Company, in the course of writing a somewhat complaining article, makes an interesting comment also relating to the naming of the feature and the implications:
[V]isual search isn't very deep; when I click on something, I want the visual goodness to keep going, and it doesn't.