There’s a lot of news today coming out of Bing headquarters, perhaps most notably that the long-rumored partnership with Wolfram Alpha is finally coming to fruition.
Bing’s announcement today explains that the collaboration will cover two specific areas: nutritional information and mathematics.
With help from Wolfram Alpha, Bing says it can now help users make smarter diet choices. When searching for specific food items, searchers will see a new Nutrition tab that offers more information. And at the bottom of the search results page, Bing will show the nutrition facts labels — the kind you see on product packaging.
Bing is also pulling in a Body Mass Index calculator from Wolfram Alpha that lets user learn about BMI within Bing’s search results.
This is where we all expected any Bing-Wolfram Alpha partnership to be revealed: using Bing’s search box to get the kind of computational results and data that Wolfram Alpha is perhaps best known for.
These new Wolfram-powered features will roll out in the U.S. “over the next several days.” Bing has also posted three short video interview clips with Wolfram Alpha founder Stephen Wolfram talking about their partnership.
State of the search engine
In a separate blog post, Bing has shared what amounts to a “state of the search engine” report. In it, Bing recaps and reveals some of the new features and tools that have been added since its May/June launch and talks about what Bing has learned from usage patterns and focus group testing.
The new features include
- quicker access to Bing’s popular travel search features from the Bing.com home page
- faster access to flight search and listings data
- new “city results pages” with important information about popular attractions, city photos, local neighborhoods and more
- new “page preview” features, including pulling contact information from a web page and showing it in Bing’s search results previews
- new “event search” functionality with categorized events for “major cities”
- a “search sharing” tool for product results that lets users send a result to friends via email or on Facebook/Twitter
- new search results for some health-related queries, with more information and newly organized sets of results
As with the Wolfram Alpha integration, Bing says these new features will start to show up in search results over the next “several days.”