News.com writes that ” Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are quietly developing new search tools for digital video, foreshadowing a high-stakes technology arms race in the battle for control of consumers’ living rooms.”
Google’s effort, until now secret, is arguably the most ambitious of the three. According to sources familiar with the plan, the search giant is courting broadcasters and cable networks with a new technology that would do for television what it has already done for the Internet: sort through and reveal needles of video clips from within the haystack archives of major network TV shows.
The effort comes on top of Google’s plans to create a multimedia search engine for Internet-only video that it will likely introduce next year, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans. In recent weeks, Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has demonstrated new technology to a handful of major TV broadcasters in an attempt to forge alliances and develop business models for a TV-searchable database on the Web, those sources say.
Video is in the spotlight as the Internet begins to mature into an entertainment platform and becomes a viable companion for television, convergence devices that combine PC and TV features, and the networked home. As nearly 30 million U.S. households get wired with broadband Internet, more people are getting comfortable using multimedia online, giving TV audiences more choices than ever about how and when they consume programming.
That’s poised to open up access to vast new video libraries that will require new search technology to organize and make content relevant to viewers, much like Internet search engines have made sense of billions of disorganized Web pages.
Ramesh Jain adds: “Media search is going to be a dominant theme because all the ingredients for the convergence of Content, Communication, and Computing are now ready.”