Search has been top-of-mind as of late with all the Google news. Google takes on the government in an issue over privacy. Google is on the cover of Time magazine. Google stock takes a minor nosedive due to major profits not being as high as Wall Street speculated. Google's starting to sell advertising on the space shuttle (OK, I made that one up.). With all the buzz around Google, we tend to forget there are lots of other things happening in search that will affect the daily life of the average consumer, so why don't we chat about that for a minute.
What about true video search? The big boys (Google and Yahoo) have their solutions for video search, but it seems their methodologies are slightly flawed and that more and more technologies are popping up everyday to solve the problem. There are two I've seen in the last few weeks that I wanted to point out and get your thoughts on:
Truveo: These guys have a great tool for searching video off the Web. I did some searches for the kinds of things I wanted to see and compared that with what I found on Google search and Yahoo search, and the numbers were telling. With Truveo I did a search for "pearl jam" (go figure) and I came up with 113 results that were spot-on. Each was a video from various music sites or newscasts, and each page brought more content for me to view, most of which was high quality content. On Google video I did the same search and found 124 results of varying quality. There were lots of videos from handi-cams and cellphones, and most of those came in the last few weeks (when I did this search a month ago, I came back with about 10 results). The Yahoo search on the topic brought back 135 results, also of varying quality--but more were entirely watchable than what I found on Google. All in all, the volume of searches was similar and the quality on Truveo and Yahoo was similar--but the profound point was that every one of you has heard of Yahoo, but how many of you have heard of Truveo? If they are under the radar now, they won't be for much longer. Their technology seems to be too good!
The other technology that i wanted to point out is called Riya. I heard about these guys and checked out the site, which is in beta right now, and what they promise seems to be very cool and very valuable. They profess to be offering a technology for face recognition that will auto-tag your photos so they can be searched through an album.
This would be extremely valuable in indexing my personal photos--but just imagine the implications if I could use the same technology in video search? If videos can be auto-tagged based on face or image recognition, then video search takes off through the roof! Imagine searching a set of auto-tagged photos and videos for specific people and places? The boundaries are limitless because you remove the human component from the equation. Fun stuff if you get excited about technology, which I obviously do.
The final chapter for search is nowhere near to being written. Think about the implications of search when it goes off the desktop and into the dashboard of your car, etc. That is when things get really interesting and that is when all bets are off. That's what probably keeps the folks at Google up at night, don'tcha think?