Microsoft acquires video indexer VideoSurf

Xbox 360 video discovery to get a boost with new media analytics technology; Kinect integration planned.

The Xbox 360 is set to expand its media offerings substantially this holiday with a host of new providers bringing fresh content to the console. With a large influx of media on the way, Microsoft is looking to make content discovery a bit easier.

VideoSurf technology may let users search for appearances of actors within film clips.

Microsoft today announced that it has acquired video content discovery company VideoSurf. The company's back-end technology allows individual frames in videos to be seen and indexed, allowing for easier searching of a piece of the media's content. Along with Kinect integration, Microsoft hopes to improve the content discovery experience that has traditionally been relegated to drill-down menus and searching via the onscreen keyboard.

"This holiday, we will launch voice search across our entertainment partners on Xbox Live," said Microsoft's interactive entertainment business director of Xbox Live Alex Garden. "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."

Prior to the acquisition, VideoSurf primarily scrubbed videos from across the Web--analyzing and indexing the most "visually unique" moments--and assigning categories to the contents algorithmically. The technology allows for clips to be searched based on a number of factors, including a specific person/character's presence in a scene.

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Discussion

7 comments
Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@XanderZane No, the Xbox used to be a game console first and foremost. Now it is an all in one media center. Why, you may ask? Because an All in One media center appeals to a larger consumer base than a hardcore gaming machine. When the PS3 was first launched it was viewed as mainly an affordable BlueRay Player not a game console.(mainly due to price, but also because the game library was terrible) Now I'm still trying to figure out why everyone is crying about "lack" of games on the 360. Every great game to come out this year has come out on both PS3 and 360. Skyrim, LA Noir, Dead Space 2, Dark Souls, BF3, MW3.... I'm sure I am forgetting some. Exclusives for both systems has been pretty good. PS3 had Uncharted, Little Big Planet, Killzone.... Xbox had Gears of War, and Forza(I also loved Gunstringer) However, any of those exclusives do not measure up to the multi platform stars. Skyrim is easily the game of the year. My vote for runner up would be Dead Space. Next year it will probably be Mass Effect 3 which is another Multi platform title. So it seems to me us Hardcore gamers are covered. Seems like a great idea to make the system more attractive to families, elderly, and women doesn't it?

Yaelanator
Yaelanator

Gotta agree, Xander. This is a great technology with a lot of possibilities, but they should focus on creating engaging IP's that will reach fans of a broad spectrum of genres. Then they can focus on cool tricks.

XanderZane
XanderZane

It'll make things easier to find on XBox Live. That's fine. I just wish they would acquire more developers to make more games.They are trying to make the XBox 360 into an all-in-one media device, but seem to forget that it's a game console first and foremost.

manciuxl
manciuxl

balfe1990 you dont care how come you posted twice the same comment?

balfe1990
balfe1990

If it's Kinect only, I couldn't care less...

balfe1990
balfe1990

If it's Kinect only, I couldn't care less...

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

VideoSurf sounds great, I just hope it works.