An interesting development has arisen from Europe; a new type of search engine is in development. Google, Bing, Yahoo really do not have anything to fear, because this new search engine will aggregate information from cameras, microphones, and other sensors around the globe. Digital Journal highlights, “New Search Engine in Development,” a very descriptive although not specific title. The new search engine has been dubbed SMART, which stands for “Search engine for MultimediA Environment geneRated content.” SMART is the brainchild of several companies: IBM’s Hafia Research Lab, Atos, Athens Information Technology, Imperial College London, and the University of Glasgow, with hopes to pull new content for the world to peruse.
The working concept is simple:
The way the system will work is that will answer search queries by identifying cameras, microphones and other sensors that can contribute to the query. This information will then be matched to data from other social networks. The idea is that if a user was to type in, for example, ‘how busy is the city center?,’ then the search engine will be able to draw upon sensors located in the city center to provide the answers.
As this is a massive undertaking it does not come as a surprise that the team is using open source technology. The team selected Terrier, a java based open source search engine built to index and retrieve through thousands of document collections. The University of Glasgow did create Terrier, but with it being open source-based SMART has joint-ownership. A sound and image based search engine is a concept that has been explored in science fiction, but a large scale deployment has not yet made its way into the mainstream. Ambitious projects start small, even enterprise search solutions.
Whitney Grace, September 21, 2012