updated 03:05 pm EST, Thu January 6, 2005
Proactive desktop search
for the Mac OS X, which will bring its next-generation contextual search technology to the Mac users. The free tool, first launched last November for Windows users, delivers new search technologies, such as proactive contextual searches of both local (after indexing) and web content based on users' every-day tasks. The new search paradigm actively brings search results to the user based on users' text input in virtually any application. As users type in virtually any application, blinkx can automatically search for related items on a users' hard drive and on the web (via any number of custom search engines defined by the user). The blinkx toolbar will be available as a free download next week for Mac OS X 10.2 users. In addition, blinkx will also offer 'Smart Folder' technology in its new release.
Smart Folders automatically analyzes a folder content and searches for related information. The folder automatically adds links to new local (i.e., on the user's hard drive) and web-based content based on searches conducted on the local drive and on the Web. The software aims to proactively bring content to a user without the need to manually search for results. Users, however, can also search for content on their own drive and on the web by entering keyword or plain-English searchs in the blinkx application.
The application can be set to scan the entire drive or just portions of the drive and the implicit query function can also be turned on/off (globally only) at any time via the toolbar. Based on information that the user is actively viewing, it automatically recommends and retrieves relevant content, including PDFs, MS Word docs, Zip archives, MP3s and JPEGs, from local and Web searches, based on context. It also offers Preview Thumbnails, which provide users with screenshots of the suggested links for improved navigation and ease of use. The company said that blinkx 2.0 supports many Mac-specific applications including the Safari, Quark, Entourage, Apple's Mail, and QuickTime.
The company describes 'Smart Folders' as intelligent folders that offer related search results based on the context--not the keywords--contained within the document. Smart Folders can be created implicitly by simply dropping a document into a folder, which would then be populated with similar documents from a users' Mac, news articles from the Web, TV, radio or video clips, which is based on the company's Blinkx.tv technology that extracts links to relevant video/audio content based audio contained in the clip. Users can also explicitly create a folder by typing in a keyword, phrase or creating one based on a specific doument.
The company says that blinkx is not constrained by the limits of keyword-based technologies and is able to extract the main ideas contained within any document and thus derive its meaning. It uses what the company calls patented Context Clustering Technology (CCT) to "overcome the shortcomings of keyword technologies and to truly understand the ideas and context behind the words."
blinkx technology applies its unique CCT ability to make the search experience faster, more accurate and more relevant. Approaches to searching through information using simple keyword query mechanisms fail because they do not provide enough context. In such cases users are overwhelmed by hundreds or thousands of results, all of which match the query, but many that represent the different contexts within which the query term or terms can appear. blinkx CCT is unique because it helps a user provide the context that is crucial to for searching or organizing data - it does not second-guess a user's needs, but seamlessly provides the automated guidance required to enrich the overall experience.