As social technologies such as Twitter gather more and more passive information, the question becomes how to harness it and give it meaning. There is a movement in Great Britain to harness that power and help users answer questions about their physical world. Tech World fills in the details in, “Scottish Scientists Build Search Engine for ‘Internet of Things.’”
The article provides an introduction to the project:
Computer scientists at the University of Glasgow [Scotland] are helping to develop an internet search engine that uses sensors located in the physical world to provide answers to search queries. By collating data from sensors such as cameras and microphones, and cross-referencing it with results from social networks such as Twitter, users will be able to receive detailed responses to questions such as ‘What part of the city hosts live music events that my friends have been to recently?’ and ‘How busy is the city centre?’
This technology definitely takes crowd sourcing to the next level, allowing users to survey their peers with the input that has been provided passively. Open source technology is what makes this possible. SMART is the name given to the developing search engine. Voice and Data provides greater detail about the technology in, “SMART to Develop New Internet Search Engine by 2014.”
SMART (Search engine for MultimediA Environment geneRated content), an European-funded project aims to develop and implement a system to allow internet users to search and analyse data from sensors located in physical world by 2014. And Scientists from University of Glasgow are participating in this new project. The research is going on since 2004. This new search engine will be developed on Terrier, an open source search engine technology.
Terrier is no doubt being used because it is being developed at the University of Glasgow as well. This project shows the potential of open source, how it enables creative thinking and problem solving and allows greater mobility without concerns over licensing and payments.
However, some organizations may want all of the benefits of open source search technology, without the feeling that they are on their own to problem solve or troubleshoot any encountered issues. Lucid Imagination is a company that has made a name for itself by providing incomparable customer support and training for its suite of open source search solutions including: Apache Lucene and Solr, LucidWorks Enterprise, and LucidWorks Big Data.
Followers here at Open Search News will appreciate how emerging projects such as this SMART search engine clearly drive the market, pushing innovation in a way that commercial search cannot. Commercial and proprietary systems are contingent upon profit. But projects such as SMART see a need and meet it, without having to consider their profit margin. Creativity comes first with open source.
We are excited about the potential that open source technology provides, but especially supportive of offerings like those at Lucid Imagination, which enable creativity and innovation, while easing the strain on the innovator.
In the current climate of Big Data buzz, the SMART project is certainly one to follow, bridging a search need left by social technologies like Twitter and Facebook.
Emily Rae Aldridge, June 18, 2012