Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango saw the light of day on Tuesday, but what’s the most impressive feature?
Bing Audio and Vision are without a doubt a sign of things to come for Windows Phone Mango and Apollo (Windows Phone 8). Bing Audio and Vision allow users to simply scan every day items such as books, CDs or DVDs and have Bing confirm the product, online pricing and reviews. The Bing Vision piece will even allow you to scan product barcodes to locate groceries and other items online. Although many of the features are available in rival platforms and separate applications, Microsoft’s tight integration into the core of the operating system means that the features will be surfaced to every Windows Phone user.
And it doesn’t stop there. Microsoft has also built in Bing Audio. Similar to Shazam, the service will allow you to locate music that is playing in the background or on the radio. Microsoft takes this one step further though. Through its deep Zune integration, Windows Phone Mango users can simply search for background music and then have it streamed to the device via Zune pass, within seconds. The feature is stunning considering it’s a part of the core operating system.
Microsoft’s final piece of Bing Vision is the translation and OCR features. Bing Vision can read a bunch of text from a book and then convert it into several different languages in an augmented reality style. It’s hard to describe just how well these core features work and how Microsoft’s constant investment in its research projects always pay off (see Kinect). It’s juicy, it’s refreshing, it’s Mango.