Bing Vision, a barcode/product scanning service announced a while back, is rolling out to Windows Phones in the UK right now. Like Red Laser and the ZXing Barcode Scanner for iOS and Android, Bing Vision lets you scan in barcodes for products, look up pricing information and availability online.
We tested it out on a handful of CD and DVD cases we had lying around and we were impressed by how speedy Bing Vision processed the information. Naturally, Bing Vision works with QR codes, processing URLs speedily.
There’s a text recognition tool which doesn’t work as well as the barcode scanner for identifying products. There’s a translation feature too which looks like it could be useful for deciphering menus when on holiday, a la Google Goggles. Not having any non-English literature to hand we couldn’t go about testing this out.
Available as a free update, all you need to do to get Bing Vision rolling on your Nokia Lumia 800 or HTC Titan is plug your phone in to your computer and install via Zune for Windows or Windows Phone 7 Connector if you’re using a Mac.
Once you’re updated, Bing Vision is activated with a simple tap of the search icon and then a tap of the eye icon which now pops up at the bottom of the screen.
We’ve also been told of Bing Image Matching for Newspapers, a new feature that’s rolling out sometime in March. An upgrade to Bing Vision, this will allow you to scan or take a picture of a newspaper article from a physical hard copy and then search for its online equivalent. Bing Image Matching will be compatible with over 3000 publications worldwide.