Microsoft has released a new version of Bing for iPad which allows this new type of interaction with the search engine on the iPad. Microsoft states that they have done some research concerning search on tablets:
“we know that many searches are inspired by things people see on the web. Today, it can be somewhat painful to search on a tablet when you’re engaged in reading something; just copying and pasting pieces of text from a webpage to a search box can take up to nine steps on the iPad. With Lasso you can circle and search in just two steps.”
While using the Bing application on the iPad, one can just select the lasso tool from the toolbar and circle text with their finger and Bing will then search. Once you select the lasso tool an overlay will appear on the screen you can then drag your finger around what you want to search Bing for. Once you have completed the selection with the lasso tool Bing till intelligently try to determine what you have tried to select and then perform the search.
Microsoft states that a copy and paste function on the iPad and a subsequent search can be done in about 9 steps total and the new Bing search would be only 1 step. This is an ingenious way to take care of search on tablets, maybe Apple will take on a much simpler method to search in iOS 5.
Check out the video below for more details on how it works from Microsoft.