A short post on the Bing UK blog is announcing that as of today, Bing Vision is officially available for Windows Phones in the UK. A number of sites have previously reported that the service has been up and running since late January, and is also available in France The service, which has been available in the US since Mango, allows you to scan a bar code or barcodes, CD, DVD and book covers, and get product information provided by (previously) Microsoft owned Ciao, a European shopping website (the US info comes directly from Bing, providing reviews, pricing, and apps related to the search).
(update: even though Ciao still uses the “Ciao from Bing” logo, and has a partnership with the European shopping site, it actually was put up for sale last April and sold to LeGuide.com, apparently in December)
UK Windows Phone users have had the Bing Vision icon in Bing Search since Mango, but it only read QR codes. Now just framing a barcode, or even a magazine, cd, dvd, or book cover can get you product information right from your phone. Apparently a server side update, if you’re in the UK (let us know if it works for you elsewhere in Europe), the Bing Vision “eye” icon in Bing Search should now read barcodes and cd/dvd/book/magazine covers.
Also coming, to all Windows Phone users, is a new feature called “Image Matching for Newspapers”. From the blog post:
Enabling people to quickly find the digital version of a print magazine or newspaper article, Bing Image Matching for Newspapers allows users to take a photo of an article using their Windows Phone camera and link directly to a digital version of the article online.
Offering global access, consumers will have access to content from over 3,000 publications worldwide.