Microsoft just updated its free Bing app for the iPhone, giving iOS users something they've had, but never this easy: the ability to scan a barcode and get an accurate search result. You could take a picture of, say, the barcode on a can of a soft drink or a digital barcode online, and you'd either be taken to a search of the exact product or a specific page.
Google has already worked images taken by a phone into its search with its Goggles service, though it's only on Android right now and taking its sweet time to come to the iPhone. Bing has jumped in to fill the void.
Does it sound like a gimmicky service to you? Maybe, but it's the kind of subtle improvement we may find ourselves using all the time: capturing the tag on a dress to see if it can be found cheaper elsewhere, looking up a recipe by shooting a jar of seasoning, and so on. It may even be indispensable, depending on how many people figure it out.
Bing is also adding one other trick to its arsenal in its new social searches, which can pick out topics from your chats on the iPhone and provide you with more information. Next time your cool friend mentions some obscure band, you'll just be taps away from pretending you're in the loop.
Via Fast Company