A directory-type search, still in BETA, Visual Search allows you to search from images that fit into a growing variety of data groupings. It reminds me a bit of the matrix-type search offered by Google Squared. (See Google Squared: another one to love!)
Bing’s broad visual topics are currently available for:
Once in a topic, you refine your search based on the sets of images that make up your initial result list. Additional refinement options are suggested along the left nav bar.Sorting options appear above the gallery of results.
Visual Search is a new way to formulate and refine your search queries through imagery, particularly for sets of results that tend to be more structured. We call these data groupings galleries. Simply go to www.bing.com/visualsearch and install Silverlight if you don’t have it already. What you’ll see is an amazing new visual search experience. Visual Search allows you to quickly scroll through the galleries or do a one-click refinement using the quick tabs on the left, which are specifically relevant to the type of results you are browsing through.
At this point, the available major categories are limited, but Visual Search may nicely (and attractively) help young searchers understand the scope of a topic, help them to focus, and to decide among their multiple choices. If this tool grows its categories as I hope it will, it will also provide useful pages to pop into and beautify our pathfinders.
Of course, it has potential for shopping too.