November 23, 2011

Microsoft Purchases Israeli Video Search Company


Microsoft has splashed out nearly $100 million on an Israel-based company called VideoSurf, TechCrunch reported yesterday. The acquisition is expected to bring more complex search capabilities to Microsoft's search engine, Bing.

VideoSurf, which was launched in 2006 by CEO Lior Delgo, Chief Scientist Achi Brandt, CTO Eitan Sharon, and COO Shai Deljo, allows users to search through a wide range of video content on websites for specific videos. The technology can “see” the individual frames inside videos, enabling fast and precise searching. Microsoft says that over time it plans to integrate the VideoSurf technology into its entertainment platform to help augment its Xbox 360 ecosystem and evolve search and discovery of entertainment content on Xbox LIVE. (It makes even more sense when you consider that Microsoft is in the process of integrating content from video and cable providers such as Verizon, Comcast, HBO and Epix into Xbox Live.)

“VideoSurf’s content analytics technology will enhance the search and discovery of entertainment content across our platform,” said Alex Garden, director of Xbox LIVE for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This holiday we will launch voice search across our entertainment partners on Xbox LIVE. Over time, as we integrate VideoSurf’s technology into our system, we are excited about the potential to have content tagged in real time to increase the speed and relevance of the search results.”

TechCrunch notes that ultimately, Microsoft could use its newly purchased VideoSurf technology for Bing’s video search, making search easier across your devices. It might also ultimately allow Kinect users to search for content across multiple entertainment providers within Xbox Live and use Kinect’s voice search powered by Bing.


Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin



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