Omnity isn’t taking on Google directly, and that’s probably a good thing. But the company is debuting a new kind of search engine today that it is targeted at researchers, such as academics, scientists, financial experts, inventors, medical professionals, lawyers, and journalists.

The San Francisco-based company is today launching a commercial research and development platform that the National Science Foundation (which provided initial funding) bills as a “game-changing breakthrough in research, analysis and knowledge discovery.”

The platform enables self-service research for experts who need access to archives of tens of thousands of documents. The search engine compares the semantic language – the real meaning of the content – in the documents to reveal unseen patterns and connections in fractions of a second.

I saw a demo of the platform in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it has a lot of interesting potential.

Omnity’s basic search is still free, but its subscription packages and special information databases start at $100.

The specialized information that Omnity is offering includes Securities and Exchange Commission filings and records, patents, Library of Congress data, court precedents and legal records, scientific journals, pharmaceutical and biomedical trials, financial reports, and U.S. Congress reports and legal history. Other services with such information can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Omnity wants to give companies and institutions of all sizes the ability to instantly discover hidden patterns of interconnection within and between fields of knowledge as diverse as science, finance, law, engineering, and medicine. Discovering unexpected connections between diverse knowledge domains reveals unique insights that sharpen focus and drive innovation.

“Most of us don’t have the time to stay current in our own field — much less explore other fields — and yet innovation often occurs at the intersection of knowledge domains,” said Brian Sager, cofounder and CEO of Omnity, in a statement. “We created Omnity to help scientists, engineers, medical professionals, lawyers and financial people cope with the explosion of data and knowledge that is happening in every field of study. Omnity is designed to be powerful yet easy to use, and is priced so that organizations large and small can access this transformative technology.”

Omnity said it can analyze and cross-compare “many millions of documents in a fraction of a second, offering a trillion-fold acceleration in knowledge discovery relative to simply reading.”

Omnity

Above: Omnity

Image Credit: Omnity

Unlike conventional search, Omnity said it can find related documents even when they do not cite or link to one another. Consequently, Omnity can detect hidden, semantic patterns that are critical to innovation and discovery for nearly all industries. In a recent study, Omnity found that more than 98 percent of documents that are highly related semantically nevertheless do not link to or cite one another, meaning most of these similar documents would have been missed using conventional search and knowledge discovery methods.

“Many significant scientific breakthroughs have been the result of happy accidents where a previously unseen connection suddenly comes to light,” said Kary Mullis, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and advisor to Omnity, in a statement. “Omnity provides a systematic way to uncover the hidden patterns within and between fields of knowledge that often drive discovery and innovation.”

Omnity said is has 120 patents. The company is offering introductory pricing of its commercial service in five tiers, with the first month free for all paid tiers:

Public – Free: Includes access to encyclopedia reference content, news articles, conferences, and more, all cross-compared and semantically interconnected. Document-based queries enabled for users. A chrome extension is available for one-click search of a web page’s content.

Academic – Free with academic email: Includes access to all public-level content as well as to open courseware from a variety of universities, all cross-compared and semantically interconnected, both to other content at the Academic tier and to all content at the Public level. Document-based queries are enabled for users. A chrome extension is available for one-click search of a web page’s content.

Professional — $99/month/user: Includes access to Public and Academic tier content, with specialist data add-ons at $25/month/user each for specialty areas, including bio science, engineering, law, and finance. All documents in purchased specialist bundles are cross-compared and semantically interconnected, both to other content at the Academic tier and to all content at the Public level. Document-based queries are enabled for users. A chrome extension is available for one-click search of a web page’s content.

Executive — $199/month: Includes access to all data and features of the Professional tier. All specialist data sets are fully interconnected with each other. Additional search methods include both and email and chat-based queries, as well as document-based search. A chrome extension is available for one-click search of a web page’s content.

Enterprise – $399/month/user + data ingestion fees: Includes all of the data and features of the Executive tier and allows for custom ingestion of enterprise data and ERP integration. Additional data ingestion tolls will be priced depending upon incoming data volume, velocity, variety, quality, and machine readability.

Omnity's search engine for research.

Above: Omnity’s search engine for research.

Image Credit: Omnity