Hands on: Windows Phone Mango’s amazing new Bing Audio/Vision [video]

By Tom Warren, on 24th May 11 7:02 pm with 12 Comments

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.

  • Bnlf

    shazan killer? xD

    • Morgan Wisbey

      Shazam killed itself when they removed their product from the app store. May have been a tantrum-like response to the announcement of this new Bing product.

  • zzz

    Integrating most popular apps tightly into the OS for best out-of-box experience is the way to go.  Nobody (except maybe some hardcore geeks) likes having to search/evaluate apps like people currently do now with iphone and Android.

  • Arvindmartin


  • JohnCz

    The imaging/ocr capability looks great.  I’m curious if you can get results from just singing part of a song.

  • JohnCz

    The imaging/ocr capability looks great.  I’m curious if you can get results from just singing part of a song.

  • http://www.twitter.com/wixostrix WixosTrix

    That was crazy how it overlaid the the translated text in real-time! The Audio search seemed pretty fast too.

  • Will Fisher

    this looks awesome! can’t wait until revamped windows tablets come out.

  • http://adamhaider.com Adam Haider

    What I particularly like about their approach, is they have gone with an overlay style instead of having the need to enter a dedicated application. It feels much more fluid, and it’s fast!

  • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

    You just have to love Microsoft for their “Embrace and extend” mentality, they’ve always been good at “me too” but the suck balls at “me first”!

  • http://twitter.com/jamiet Jamie Thomson

    Calm down Tom. You’re a journo – you almost got emotional there :)

  • SD

    This is downright beautiful… Looks like apps like shop savvy, translators (but I’m keeping Arkwords) and shazam are gonna get yanked from my HD7.
    Only thinkI don’t see is the ability to save the songs you search for.  Once that’s confirmed it’s over for anything else.

    And FWIW Shazam killed themselves when they decided to charge $5+ for their app… insane.