Microsoft's Bing lets you find that stranger's jeans with your phone camera

We've all coveted things from afar. This Goole Lens competitor uses AI to help you track down info using a photo.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
2 min read

Microsoft's Bing now lets you search the web with your phone's camera.


Don't know what something is called and your description isn't cutting it for a search engine? Besides Google Lens, now you can also search using pictures on Bing.

Microsoft on Thursday launched a new function on Bing that lets you search an image on the web using your camera, the company said in a blog post. This AI-powered feature is available in the US on the Bing app for iOS, Android and Microsoft Launcher. The company has also rolled out the feature for Microsoft Edge for Android, and will soon be added on iOS devices as well as Bing.com.

"While there have been strides for many years to get to this point," said Vince Leung, the product lead for Bing Images at Microsoft, in a blog post. "With the advent of cloud computing we're able to accelerate our ability to make sense out of pixels ."

Here's how it works. Let's say you see a stranger looking great in jeans, and you want to know the brand of the jeans.You can take a photo of it using the Bing app, and the search engine will identify the object and provide you more information via links. You can also use this feature for things like architecture, plants and more.

AI-powered visual search has become a hot topic for tech giants. Google last year launched Google Lens, which lets you search with your smartphone's camera and it also features augmented reality. 

"Microsoft's vision is that search is ubiquitous, going beyond the search box and adapting to changing information needs and technology habits," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email statement. "We believe Visual Search is the future of search, and will continue to invest in new technologies and techniques to enable scenarios that help our search customers. We're excited about the capabilities in this space."

First published on June 22, 9:40 a.m. PT.

Updates, 12:03 a.m. PT: Adds Microsoft spokesperson statement.