Tuesday, January 11, 2011

5 Most Innovative Search Engines of 2010

Search has become more diversified these days, since getting search results became an indispensable part of the overall daily web experience and it's getting more & more complex, due to a plethora of innovative technologies which just about yesterday seemed a matter of SF..

Today we can use search engines that are able to understand our voice commands, by employing voice recognition tools; that can identify objects from a photograph we've taken or from a barcode via our all-mighty phones; that can use geo-location to point at where we are in the world to find relevant results; that can find the right slot in a TV programme just by saying a quote from it, etc.

The below search engines may have been part of a wish-list yesterday while today they're fighting to become the next big thing in search:

1. TinEye - Reverse image search : www.tineye.com

The website and phone app TinEye allows you to upload an image and find where else it's used on the web. The search engine is using the image itself, instead of "keywords, metadata or watermarks", claimimg to be the 1st search engine of its kind to use solely image identification technology.

How it works?

As soon as you enter a URL of an image or upload one, TinEye creates a unique fingerprint based on its composition, and then searches within its 1.5 billion image database for others with the same or a partial fingerprint match. This would be a useful tool to find out if people are using your images without permission. Btw, the mobile app is now in beta version and it's free at the moment!

2. Siri - Voice-based personal assistant : www.siri.com

Imagine waking up one morning and receiving a handy little advice "Better wear a raincoat today!" This can now come in a message on your iPhone from a dutiful new virtual personal assistant Siri. Siri is a great cute planner and it's off to a very promising start. Shout out, "I need a taxi" and Siri will oblige with nearby options. You can ask it to remind you to send flowers to your second half on Valentine's Day, and the app will make sure to send an email to jog your memory. Try and ask where you could get your car fixed and Siri will come up with several suggestions "within walking distance" of up to two miles (on Avg.) from your current location. (As with numerous other iPhone apps it takes advantage of GPS.)

How it works?

Answers arrive within the Siri app from various Web partners. TrueKnowledge.com tackles the general knowledge queries, for example, and the weather forecast comes from WeatherBug. Other partners include Citisearch, OpenTable, Taxi Magic, Rotten Tomatoes, Yahoo Local, and Yelp. Voice recognition is handled by Nuance, the same techies behind the well-known Dragon speech recognition software.

3. Mobile Concierge - Your Personal Shopping Assistant :www.bit.ly/mobileconcierge

A different type of product search comes from Mobile Concierge, developed by Cisco Systems and IBM. By means of precise geolocation it's able to pop up on your mobile with info and offers on the products around you while you shop.

How it works?

Once connected to the store’s wireless network, Mobile Concierge will be able to deliver coupons, make product suggestions, allow shoppers to organize shopping lists, receive unique digital signage based on shopping preferences, and more. Integration at checkout ensures all coupons and promotions are properly credited so that you can get through checkout quickly and packed with your up-to-date in-store promotions/discounts!

4. Klout - Social media authority search:www.klout.com

Klout is a measurement tool that gives an idea of your social web influence with Twitter. Their data is used by applications such as Co-Tweet, HootSuite and others.

It's made its mission "to accurately measure and provide context around who a person influences and the specific topics they are most influential on".
Since Google already offers social search by integrating real-time Twitter feeds, wouldn't it make sense to order posts based on your perceived authority in the subject?

How it works?
Klout takes all the data they’ve processes and gives you a Klout score, based on actual reach and engagement and influence of your followers and network.
A similar well-renowned tool is Twitalyzer, providing statistics on your Twitter usage, displaying 15 key metrics on an easy-to-use dashboard:

Haika - Semantic search
: http://www.hakia.com/

How about a search engine delivering results based exclusively on relevance rather than website popularity? You'll be surprised to find out, but Haika is a search engine built from scratch using laws of ontological semantics, mathematics, computational linguistics, and fuzzy logic.

How it works?

It pulls in results from the general web, news sites, blogs, Hakia Galleries, something it calls 'credible sources' (typically Wikipedia), video and images.Finally, you'll get some kind of a "hub" of various search sources to choose from.

Other great tools worth inserting into your favs list are:

Wikitude - Augmented reality encyclopaedia :www.wikitude.org. That's pretty handy when you arrive into a new country/city and point your mobile toward a building you'd like to find more of (history,location)- augmented reality here is key!

Blinkx - Video search : www.blinkx.com You'll get results based on speech recognition, visual analysis and facial analysis - and all that coming from a filter of over 35 million hours of video!

Hope this journey was a useful one. If you've got other handy tools you're quite fond of, just drop a line and share it further!

Always positive,
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