Free DA to Improve Video Search?

The NewTeeVee blog has some interesting thoughts following comments made by Google’s Marissa Mayer at the Searchonomics conference going on today. Google’s free directory assistance product, Goog-411 (past commentary here), will assist in helping Google develop speech to text ability, which will in turn help it sharpen its ax when it comes to video search.

This makes a lot of sense if you think about it. As we explored in a recent White Paper and in a past blog post, video searchability is an important challenge right now that is getting a lot of attention from the likes of Blinkx, Google, Adap.tv, ScanScout and others. The challenge comes down to the fact that a piece of video isn’t inherently searchable the way text is.

So efforts have surrounded everything from indexing closed captioning transcripts to meta tags, to the current state of the art, voice recognition. The first two are limited and will have even more trouble passing as a solution, as the corpus of online video content continues to expand at a frenetic pace. A reliable automated solution is required, in other words.

This will also go a long way in the searchability of small-business local video ads that are likewise growing in number on local search sites, most notably Citysearch.

And once this searchability problem is solved, the next step video monetization and contextualized ad placement around videos becomes easier. Google clearly has its eye on this prize, and we’ve recently seen developments from Blinkx and Adap.tv on this front.

Indeed, video search and video contextual ad placement have the same core challenge, and Google’s speech to text capability will work toward addressing both.

Free DA: A Means and an End

It’s also interesting to see Google’s free DA product a strong avenue for the company in itself seed other efforts. We’ve seen this before. As we wrote about last month, the product is also being used to push mobile mapping solutions.

Free DA, mobile mapping, and video; it’s great to see the interplay between them. These will be exciting areas to watch, not to mention the fact that the potentially game-changing iPhone will feature, enable and accelerate each of them.

On the iPhone, it will be interesting to see these factors develop, especially given the third-party application development through the bundled Safari WAP browser, which we expect to be robust enough on the phone’s sleek interface to inspire the degree of third-party application development that we have yet to see in the mobile environment. Get ready.

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Related: Red Herring today writes about Digitalsmiths, a new entrant to the video search space.

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