VideoSurf announced a video search site last year with computer vision technology that could decipher what was in a video and find results quickly for users looking for particular video snippets. Now it’s opening up its platform so other developers can make it easier for users to find and watch videos online.
While there are multiple video search companies, San Mateo, Calif.-based VideoSurf says it spent years coming up with the computer vision technology to "see" inside video content so that it can parse it into the parts that a search engine can identify. The result is the ability to find video more easily. Users can also skip through video quickly to find the particular moment they want to view.
The VideoSurf search engine recognizes faces and group videos of celebrities and other people much more deftly than normal engines can. It displays a series of thumbnail frames from various scene transitions in the video to show the user exactly what is contained in the video. You can also pick a particular thumbnail frame to navigate to the part of the video that is the most relevant to you. If you type "stand-up comedy" in a search, you may get a video of George Carlin.
There are millions of indexed videos on the VideoSurf site. By sharing its application programming interface (API), VideoSurf will let others get access to those videos and integrate the VideoSurf search into their own web sites. VideoSurf discusses the new move in a blog post here .
It will be interesting to see if this helps VideoSurf stand out from competitors, which include Invision TV , CastTV , Blinkx and Like.com . The company was founded in 2006 by Lior Delgo, the founder of FareChase, a travel search engine that Yahoo bought in 2004. VideoSurf’s technology comes from its chief scientist, Achi Brandt, who invented a mathematical formula dubbed “multi-grid fast computation.” VideoSurf uses those algorithms to compute huge amounts of data in milliseconds. Eitan Sharon, chief technology officer, is an expert in computer vision.
It raised $5.5 million in a round that included former Vice President Al Gore, CurrentTV chief executive Joel Hyatt, and others.