By 12 September 2011 | Categories: news


When HP confirmed that it was purchasing meaning-based computing leader Autonomy (for a sizable $10.2 billion) many tech pundits wondered what the PC giant was planning. According to New Scientist, both companies have turned their attention towards creating a computer-based search system. In an interview with New Scientist, Autonomy’s founder Mike Lynch explained that Autonomy’s Idol system, ‘which pinpoints relationships between informal, unstructured text, audio, images and video,’ will work together with the Vertica text-search database from HP, which enables structured text such as emails and documents to be searched.

Lynch explained that its Idol system correlates human behaviours that are captured on video with words used in a variety of other media and connects the two together such that they can be searched. One of the more interesting applications of what the companies are doing together in this regard is that it could enable users to point their smartphone camera at an image and receive related web links or video.

Additionally, he elaborated that the search engine could "seamlessly understand phone calls and voice messages.” Lynch gave the example of being able to search within the content of a voicemail in which a user had asked someone to meet them at a particular time. According to Lynch this could make amorphous data ‘searchable in mainstream applications on smartphones, computers or online via cloud computing services’. Such an application, if both companies can pull it off, could certainly be interesting, especially as information becomes spread even more widely amongst several devices and cloud-based services.

In other recent news, related to online search, Yahoo! announced the reorganisation of its leadership.

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