Latest advance in Bing Visual Search kills Pinterest

Microsoft has just released a major advance to Bing Image Search.

While you could for years search for different versions of a particular photo or image using Bing Image Search, the latest advance, called Bing Visual Search,  will help you look for specific items in an image, like the chandelier in the picture below.

To search for an item users merely need to highlight the area with their mouse and, using deep neural networks, Microsoft will change the image into a relevant text search to find what you are looking for.

If the item you are looking for appears to have a shopping intent e.g. looking for items to decorate your room, Bing will automatically do a shopping search and find relevant items in online stores that match the picture.

The feature is similar to what Pinterest has been working on, and would allow Bing users to easily find items even from complex images.  Future updates would recognise items in pictures automatically and offer searches based on the content of the photos.

The new feature is already available on PC and mobile, and also as an API to developers. Those interest in the nuts and bolts of the technology can read more here.