Voxalead Picks Up High Profile Customers with IVR System
April 09, 2010
By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor
IDG News Service reported that French search specialist Exalead (News - Alert) thinks it's cracked one of the big challenges of search, making video searchable, and has landed a high-profile customer to prove it: the Web site of France's President.
Since using an IVR system as well as voice and video technologies are constantly on the rise, Elysee.fr, the presidential Web site, is the first to use Voxalead, a tool developed by Exalead to make video and audio files searchable by automatically transcribing the speech they contain, IDG reported.
As industry observer Jim O'Neill notes, "The company joins YouTube (News - Alert) in the general public market in rolling out a product capable of captioning videos and helping to provide search engines with a wealth of data, creating new road maps to content and highlighting yet another route -- hopefully -- to monetization for companies looking to drive ROI on their online video efforts."
The Cambridge, Mass.-based RAMP, formerly EveryZing, has been translating online video to searchable text since it was spun off from BBN Technologies in 2006, as O'Neill said.
The Voxalead technology makes it possible to search all the videos of President Nicolas Sarkozy stored on the site for speeches and press conferences in which he used a particular word or phrase, IDG explains, "jumping straight to the spot in the video where he utters the word. The transcripts can be overlaid on the videos as subtitles."
As IDG notes Google (News - Alert)'s YouTube also offers searchable transcripts of some of its videos, "and it too uses those transcripts for subtitling. Users can choose to automatically generate a transcript for an English-language video when they upload it to YouTube, but the speech recognition can be very hit-or-miss."
There are still a few bugs in the system. For a recent speech IDG tested, the quality of transcription is good, "but Voxalead repeatedly hears the sound 'eh' as 'ee,' leading it to transcribe 'c'est' [it is] as 'six', among a number of similar errors."
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Kelly McGuire