Search Pictures on SkyDrive with Bing

A few weeks ago, the SkyDrive team announced  updates to the service that will allow you to take a picture of something with text (e.g. a sign, a menu, a business card), save it to SkyDrive and Bing’s optical character recognition (OCR) technology will extract the text. Today they announced that those pictures will be fully searchable with Bing Smart Search available in the upcoming release of Windows 8.1.

What does that mean? Let me explain.

With this update, you can take a picture of a business card for say, Dave Johnson of Contosso Corporation and it will seamlessly synch with SkyDrive. The OCR technology that Bing has developed will scan the picture and pull out parts of the image that it recognizes as text. Now whenever you use Windows 8.1 and search for Dave Johnson, not only will you see a list of results from your device and the web but also the image of Dave’s business card that you have saved in SkyDrive.

You can check out a demo of this in action in the following video:

Today’s announcement builds upon the enormous investments we have made in core search technologies let users interact with the world’s knowledge and their surroundings in more human ways.

– The Bing Team