Bing has just let loose a half dozen major updates to their service that we are going to be covering in two separate posts. In this entry, we are going to look at the new Open Table integration, Bing’s new ‘interior views,’ and their launch of real-time transit tracking.
Open Table Integration:
For some 15,000 restaurants what have signed up with Open Table, you can now use their page on Bing to search and see if they have available seating.
Every single location that is an Open Table customer will work with Bing, making the search engine an innovator in terms of bringing together different forms of data and services to assist searchers find and then do do what they want.
By far the coolest bit that Bing announced today is the release of interior views of restaurant. It’s like Street View, but inside of restaurants.
How many? Right now a cool 5,000. That number is only a third of the Open Table linked restaurants, but it is a start. Expect Microsoft to slowly grow this number in the coming months to at least include the restaurants that work with Open Table.
If you want to test it for yourself, head to this page, scroll down, and then click where it says ‘Step Inside.’ Is that cool or what? If you want to be shown a video of it in action, you can see one here.
Real Time Transit Tracking:
If you live in Boston, Seattle, or San Francisco, Bing Mobile now tracks public transit down to the minute so that you are never confused as to when your bus should arrive. We actually have something similar in Chicago, a text messaging system with the city. It is however, not as slick as what Bing has put together.
This is very nice, but the limited city roll-out make it not useful for most potential users. More cities, please.
Right, that is all for now. We are going to be taking a look at the updates to Bing Maps proper in the next post, coming to you as quickly as I can type it up.
Can you figure out what the image up top is? If you watched the video linked above, it is the El Gaucho restaurant in full swing.