Enswer is the answer to video search

Web 2.0 | 2008/09/19 01:39 | Web 2.0 Asia

One key reason Google has become the 8000-lb gorilla it is now is, I believe, the company had a truly great piece of technology that couldn't be copied easily by competitors. Even in this "extreme programming" era where rapid development is the name of the game and apps are being churned out in mere days if not hours, technology still matters.

In that philosophy, Enswer is the hidden gem of the Korean web industry. In a nutshell, Enswer is the newest video search engine based on image fingerprinting technology. Today's typical video search engines perform search based on the text metadata associated with videos, so they should actually be called text search. But Enswer is different, as it indexes videos based on, well, the videos - i.e. the actual video content.

As Enswer runs on image/video recognition technologies, it knows which different videos contain the same content, and so it can cluster them together. This can make the world of difference to users, just as Gmail did with its messages clustering feature. Trying to find Beatles music videos? Enswer gives you different "clusters" of Beatles videos, so you can find many different Beatles videos on one screen; Try the same thing on other video searches and you will get all sorts of videos with the metadata "Beatles", all mixed up together, many of them being redundant.

Perhaps the biggest commercial potential of Enswer is more contextual video ads. Right now, video ads are put up based on, again, text metadata (such as "category" information of the video clip). But with Enswer, you can for example insert ads on new game software only on the videos that actually contain gaming-related content.

Enswer has so far indexed more than 32 million videos and are looking at adding 1 million new videos per day, according to their blog. The company has recently raised a venture funding of an undisclosed amount. I will cover them more closely when they come up on stage on the upcoming Demo Day.
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