Blinkx Rolls out Video-matching Features

Blinkx on Thursday gave its video search engine the ability to suggest other clips based on what a person is watching at the time.

The suggestion features get triggered when Blinkx visitors click on new buttons on the home page that aim to deliver news and entertainment clips that the system considers the most popular and relevant at the time.

The enhancements are aimed at complementing Blinkx's core video search capabilities to appeal to visitors who come to the site to discover new clips passively, as opposed to those who are looking for a specific video.

"We're adding functionality to the front page to help people who don't know what they're looking for, so that we can help them discover videos they're not aware of already," said Blinkx CEO Suranga Chandratillake.

Specifically, new buttons labeled "Inform Me" and "Entertain Me" deliver news and entertainment clips, respectively, that have been selected using Blinkx's clustering and analysis technology.

Clicking on either button takes visitors to a page on which a video immediately starts to play. Selecting "More Information" on the page reduces the clip's size and displays tabs and sections with tags and video suggestions.

For example, the tag cloud contains terms mentioned in the video, because Blinkx has a technology that transcribes and indexes what is said in clips. Clicking on these "speech" tags takes viewers to the section of the video where that term is heard, and also can link to videos related to the topic.

Sections at the bottom of the screen let viewers choose different "scenes" within the clip or cut to excerpts where specific faces are visible. Other sections offer suggestions for scenes that are visually similar to the one playing and for videos of similar topics.

A third new button, labeled "Give Me," lets viewers enter a query, such as "stimulus package," and have a page assembled on the fly with relevant video clips, along with the new features.

Blinkx has for some time allowed visitors to sit back and watch videos automatically grouped in a variety of categories, but the more advanced capabilities for suggesting related videos and generating tag clouds on the fly are new.

At this time, the new functionality isn't triggered if people use the regular video search box or if they click to browse on the video categories section.

Blinkx has indexed 32 million hours of video and audio clips. It fields about 7 million searches per day and had about 55 million unique visitors in December.

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