A couple weeks back when I attended the Podcast Expo in Ontario California, I talked with a company named PodZinger powered by BBN Technologies exhibiting that specializes in some extraordinary technology.

Their company indexes the audio and video uploaded onto the internet.  They also offer services that will sell software to companies to allow them to index say phone conversations

or video presentations stored on a server and more.

Think about that for just a second!

The application of that type of technology is very impressive.  In a former life as an intelligence analyst if I had had a tool to index say all of the conversations of person A talking on the phone to Persons B, C and E, such that I look for key phrases or groupings of words then I can streamline the need to read through thousands of pages of printed text.

Now, the obvious background of this technology comes from the intelligence world and has been applied to the civilian sector.  PodZinger is powered by BBN Technologies.  The WSJ had an article a few days ago talking about the need of web video surfers to differentiate between ‘Tom Cruise’ and ‘Cruise Missiles’ in a search.

In addition to indexing the audio dialogue from MP3 files and stripped out of video files, additional software is evolving to allow for facial recognition, tagging of specific frames in a video file, and mapping of background settings.

Example of a search with keywords  |   Michael J Fox

(article written a couple days after the Michael J Fox v Rush Limbaugh splash)

Image of search example

Now you can see from this search a result that shows where the keyword of the search was used in a video from Abc World News, which has been transcribed with voice recognition and indexed.  You can further click on the links to listen to that section of audio and video.


In a police state these are all very important tools to develop to maintain control over said police state, however fairly basic consumer demand is rapidly entering into the supply chain and creating additional demand for this type of service.  Instead of trying to figure out where Osama Bin Laden filmed his latest video from last month, Aunt Jean might want to figure out where Great Grandma Frieda had her picture taken with that strange gentleman standing close and what time of year the picture was taken or even what year the picture was taken.

Public Sector Uses

Film buffs might want to figure out where the actual location of movie was filmed.  Was Clint Eastwood in California or Montana or Spain or Italy?  Does Forest Grump’s bench actually exist in Savannah or was it staged in a part of the square that normally doesn’t have a bench?  (answer it was staged there, I lived around the corner when it was filmed and I can tell you who made the actual box of chocolates too! They were rice crispy treats covered in chocolate not the real deal as too much chocolate would have probably made Tom Hanks sick to his stomach and that wouldn’t have helped his running time, but I digress . . .)

From a personal perspective how would you feel about a company indexing every conversation that you had on a video loaded up onto the internet?  It happens to politicians and movie stars all the time.  But indexing is coming to a Joe Schmoe near you very very soon, and the next Schmoe might actually be you!

Technorati tags: video index, video search, Podzinger, BBN Technologies, Audio Search, Audio index, voice recognition indexing