Microsoft acquires VideoSurf, to integrate video content discovery into Xbox LIVE and Bing search

Microsoft today announced that it has acquired California-based company VideoSurf, which provides video discovery technology to customers and enables them to quickly and accurately find the video they want. Their technology is pretty unique in that it doesn’t solely rely on text-based search terms, like most video search does today, but rather uses visual identification to locate specific video segments across the web. Below is a brief description of what VideoSurf does:


VideoSurf has created a better way for users to search, discover and watch online videos.

Using a unique combination of new computer vision and fast computation methods, VideoSurf has taught computers to “see” inside videos to find content in a fast, efficient, and scalable way. Basing its search on visual identification, rather than text only, VideoSurf’s computer vision video search engine provides more relevant results and a better experience to let users find and discover the videos they really want to watch.

With over 50 billion (and rapidly growing!) visual moments indexed from videos found across the web, VideoSurf allows consumers to visually navigate through their results to easily find the specific scenes, people or moments they most want to see. Users can now spend less time searching and more time being entertained!

According to the press release from Microsoft, the company aims to integrate VideoSurf’s technology into its Xbox LIVE service, and possibly the Bing search engine to allow users to easily search for entertainment content across Xbox LIVE and the web:

Over time, Microsoft will integrate this technology across its entertainment platform to augment the Xbox 360 ecosystem and evolve search and discovery of entertainment content on Xbox LIVE.

“VideoSurf’s content analytics technology will enhance the search and discovery of entertainment content across our platform,” said Alex Garden, director of Xbox LIVE for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “This holiday we will launch voice search across our entertainment partners on Xbox LIVE. Over time, as we integrate VideoSurf’s technology into our system, we are excited about the potential to have content tagged in real time to increase the speed and relevance of the search results.”

Microsoft already owns music search technologies, developed by the Bing research team, as seen on Windows Phone 7.5’s Bing Music search capability. The acquisition of VideoSurf means that Microsoft will also be able to bring a Shazam-like capability for videos and movies to its Windows Phones. In fact, VideoSurf recently brought a mobile app to both the iOS and Android platforms, allowing users to visually identify the movie or video they’re watching, learn more about the actors in the movies, and find other roles they’ve played. Check out the video below:


You can try out VideoSurf right now by going to!