Microsoft has announced the acquisition of VideoSurf, an online content analytics technology firm that will allow users to more easily find content across the company’s Xbox Live platform.
Using the service users will likely be able to type in a term and find content from various sources including gaming properties, the Zune marketplace, various TV and film hubs and potentially from third-party vendors such as Hulu and Netflix.
Speaking about the acquisition Alex Garden, Xbox Live’s director of interactive entertainment said:
“VideoSurf’s content analytics technology will enhance the search and discovery of entertainment content across our platform,” while adding, “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.”
While financial terms of the acquisition have not been revealed numbers are believed to be in the vicinity of $75 million to $100 million cash.
VideoSurf technology isn’t your standard recognition software that places tags inside various video frames for retrieval at a later time, although it does do that, it also relies on audio and facial recognition to auto-tag video content, for example a search of “Johnny Depp” will turn up his TV and film appearances and also find interviews he has given and places he has been mentioned.
The company had a significant lineup of investors before the acquisition including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
How would you like to see VideoSurf technology implemented via the Microsoft Xbox Live service?