Microsoft on Monday unveiled a new feature for its Bing search engine called Visual Search that allows users to perform certain searches using image galleries instead of text. Rolled out as part of an ongoing effort to improve the fledgling service, Visual Search is particularly good for finding consumer electronics items, automobiles, people, books, and other visual objects.
"Research shows that consumers can process results with images 20 percent faster than text only results," Microsoft's Todd Schwartz wrote on the Bing blog. "So it's clear that images play a big part in helping consumer's with a variety of search activities."
Visual Search is currently available as a beta feature of Bing. When you perform visual searches, the search results appear as a 3D grid of images that appear to emanate from the back of the web page. When you click on an image, a more traditional search results page appears. But that's the point, according to Microsoft: Visually searching helps you find what you're looking for more quickly. (You can also utilize Bing's filtering functionality while using Visual Search.)