Microsoft confirmed the acquisition of the video content search engine VideoSurf Tuesday. While the plan to integrate the technology into the Xbox 360 platform will support search and discovery of content on the entertainment system, the question becomes: Will VideoSurf and Kinect technology roll into Microsoft Bing?
In the coming months, Microsoft will bring 40 TV and entertainment providers to Xbox LIVE, including Bravo, Comcast, HBO GO, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in the U.S.; BBC in the U.K.; Telefonica in Spain; Rogers On Demand in Canada; Televisa in Mexico; ZDF in Germany; and Mediaset in Italy.
This acquisition will make it easier for video partners to latch onto advanced features like voice search-enabled technology from Kinect for Xbox 360. The technology allows users to search and discover content across multiple entertainment providers within Xbox LIVE and then interact with content using voice search technology powered by Bing on the Xbox 360, although not yet available for Internet search.
Microsoft also has begun to run promotions and campaigns in Xbox LIVE. Paramount Pictures and Epic Games created an "Impossible Mission" for "Gears of War 3" owners. U.S. players who watch the trailer and then complete the campaign on Insane Difficulty by Dec. 25, either in single or multiplayer mode, will unlock the exclusive Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Weapon Skin Pack.
The five-pack includes a "Ghost Protocol" Lancer, Hammerburst, Retro Lancer, Gnasher Shotgun and Sawed-off Shotgun. U.S. players who register and attempt to complete the campaign on Insane Difficulty will have a chance to win prizes, but only those who accomplish "Impossible Mission" by the deadline receive the exclusive weapons pack. U.S. participants who complete the campaign on Insane will receive the weapon skin pack on Dec. 31.
When it comes to gifts this holiday season, the demand for gadgets continues to increase. Women want more tech stuff, according to the iVillage community of women. Although tablets and smartphones rank from No. 1 to No. 6 when it comes to the most desired gifts, Kinect for Xbox 360 ranks No. 7.
For boys and girls, traditional toys like LEGOs, cars and trucks, and dolls remain top choices, but electronic toys and gadgets are in the top 10. Among those tech gifts, kids want Xbox 360 and video games, as well as Nintendo DS.
So will Microsoft connect the dots between VideoSurf and Bing? Search marketers who contemplate the future of search engine marketing and integrating technology like VideoSurf or Kinect into Bing to support search across the Internet will want to join MediaPost and colleagues next month at MediaPost's Search Insider Summit.
I know. This is a shameless plug for the MediaPost Search Insider Summit. But I can't help myself. It's probably one of the best conferences I've attended -- and I've been to most, from the Consumer Electronics Show to CTIA to Search Engine Strategies. In the setting of an executive retreat, the brightest marketers gather in one room to discuss and ponder the future of search. The next Summit runs from Dec. 7 through Dec. 10 in Deer Valley, Park City, Utah. Will I see you there?