Semantic search and extraction of data from natural language and pictures continues to be an important trend. Recently, Hewlett-Packard confirmed rumors that it would acquire Autonomy, a semantic-based tool used to extract information from non-structured data such as text.
The selling price for outstanding shares: $42.11 each in cash. Analysts estimate the deal at $10.3 billion. The move puts HP more in software and less in hardware, especially with the recent news that it would abandon mobile devices.
Autonomy makes software that searches and keeps track of unstructured data in databases and on Web sites such as Google-like searches through hospital databases and records. Unstructured raw data could increasingly become the next diamond in the rough, allowing brands to target ads based on information extracted from text and images. Some companies already do this.
Take DataPop, for example. The company takes unstructured data from brands and turns them into campaign keywords and ads. It also pulls data from other raw sources through APIs for the Weather Channel to understand how weather might influence consumer intent.
Search engines are also looking more toward semantic search. Colin Jeavons, Vertical Search Works president and CEO, said the company will launch mobile voice search for the iPhone and phones running Android operating system next week to support the company's semantic search engine technology for computers and tablets.
For example, someone riding a bicycle south on the Huntington Beach boardwalk to Newport Beach, Calif. who wants to search for a coffee shop needs only to say the word "coffee" into their smartphone to find a nearby barista. The platform relied on a third-party technology to support voice search. And similar to Google's voice-activated search, the VSW engine serves up related links based on location.
Jeavons said publishers will have an option to support voice-activated mobile Web search. "We share the revenue with content producers, so they get paid for carrying it," he said. "Users also get a faster search experience when using a mobile device."
Google, Bing and Yahoo have begun furthering technology to better understand the semantic Web.