Search Startups Challenge Google at Demo

Startups are facing up to Google's dominance with innovative technologies such as phonetic search and "fuzzy search."

PHOENIX—Hoping to challenge Googles dominance in the search market, startups are responding with search technologies tailored to find relevant results across a range of data types.

At the Demo conference being held here this week, companies launched products ranging from a search engine that phonetically looks through audio and video to technology that relies on structured data to provide perfect—as well as close—matches.

A new search engine launched here from Mountain View, Calif.-based Kosmix provides categorized results instead of showing linear results.

Kosmix Search currently provides search for three verticals: health, politics and travel.

Using algorithms and technology to categorize the Web, Kosmix Search is able to provide a user using its travel engine to search for "Sydney" with results in categories such as hotel, transportation, museums and kid-friendly sites.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about other software products launched at Demo.

Kosmix Search, which will also search weblogs, is aimed at companies that want to reach audiences with a customized search engine.

Transparensee Systems launched BestMatch, a search engine that searches structured data to offer results including the best match, even if the search parameters have no exact matches.

Targeted at e-commerce, BestMatch uses a proprietary algorithm dubbed "fuzzy search" to scour a database for results based on parameters chosen by the user. But while most structured searches will return results that will match search terms exactly, Transparensee will also show weighted results that are close to what a user is looking for.

Two companies debuted products with the ability to search rich media. Nexidias Media Search product allows users to find spoken word content on the Internet.

Executives at the company said Nexidia turns a search query into phonetic code and matches it against a database of audio and video files.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read about an open-source search engine launched at Demo.

While other search engines provide results by tagging audio files and turning speech into text, Nexidia Media Searchs phonetic capability makes it easy for users to search through large databases of audio such as podcasts.

And since the product uses phonetic code, users can search for audio even if they dont know how to spell the search term.

America Online showed what its done with Truveos Visual Crawler technology since acquiring the video search company in December.

Truveos technology was known for looking at a videos surrounding web application in search of detailed metadata. AOL Video Search featuring Truveo will be available to AOL users this spring.

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