VideoSurf, a search engine for online video content, has been acquired by Microsoft, it was announced today. The service's sophisticated, multi-source video search technology will be built into Microsoft's XBox Live platform, which will see several new entertainment media partnerships in the coming months.
The acquisition, which cost Microsoft a reported $70 million, brings facial and object-recognition video search to the XBox, so it no longer relies solely on descriptions and other meta data when conducting searches. It works across services, so a search for "Lady Gaga" will return results from Netflix, Hulu and a variety of online video sources.
Microsoft is planning on adding content from HBO, Comcast, Verizon, the BBC and several others over the course of the next few months. This expanded offering of video content will be more easily searched and accessed thanks to VideoSurf's backend technology.
In the meantime, they're also going to be rolling out voice search capabilities on the Kinect for XBox 360, which will add a Siri-like functionality to the experience. The Kinect can already understand basic voice commands for things like pausing and playing a movie, in addition to its infamously awesome motion-based, hands-free controls.
Microsoft said they plan on launching voice search for XBox LIVE over the course of the holiday season and they expect the VideoSurf integration to improve the functionality over time.