Microsoft Acquisition Adds To Xbox Live Search Capabilities

The acquisition will make it easier for video development partners to take advantage of such advanced features as voice-enabled search on the Kinect for Xbox 360, Microsoft said.

VideoSurf, based in San Mateo, Calif., develops back-end computer vision technology that enables content discovery by examining video frames. Microsoft plans to use the technology to "augment the Xbox 360 ecosystem and evolve search and discovery of entertainment content on Xbox Live," the company said in a statement.

"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 Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business, in a statement. The company intends to offer voice search capabilities for entertainment content partners on Xbox Live for the upcoming holiday, Garden said, followed by deeper integration with Microsoft products that will provide the ability to tag content in real time.

Microsoft said that in coming months it will bring nearly 40 television and entertainment providers to Xbox live, including Bravo, HBO Go, Comcast, Verizon FiOS and Syfy in the U.S.

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Microsoft did not disclose what it paid to buy VideoSurf, but published reports, including one on TechCrunch, put the purchase price at close to $100 million.