QWiki: Full Media Search Engine with Results You Actually Need

Is it the sum of all human knowledge? Tidily gathered in one place and put in the hands of every individual on earth, the internet has brought us unparalleled research capabilities, unforeseen technologies, and untold fortunes. However, there is no doubt that there are issues with the current systems.

That said, Jan 24, 2011 marked the day that the term “Google It” started to fade away! On Oct 1, 2010 I mentioned qwiki as one of the major future technologies of the future and now just 24hrs after they have gone live I add to my thoughts.

Notoriously, as expansive as it is, it has for the most part remained a one way street. We bash some letters into a search engine, and patiently await a relative return. Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others have had great purpose, but also been an incredible source of confusion for some users who may not be incredibly aware of its algorithms and nuances.

The Solution?

Facebook Co-Founder, Eduardo Saverin launched a new search engine known as Qwiki that provides what is referred to as a ‘rich media narrative’ format. In the spirit of Wikipedia, a user can add to the knowledge available on any topic. This engine provides a combination of photos, audio and video clips that relate to the queried topic.  Opened for public testing on Monday, January 24, 2011, the game has just begun.

Qwiki says their goal is to bring science fiction film to life by enabling computers to collect data on the behalf of their human counterparts. Not exactly mind reading, but not the passive system utilized so widely now. Qwiki wants to make the internet a two-way street.

So far, reviews say they are doing just that. Instead of providing one-shot information, it provides more help when even deciding on a better topic of interest.

Using Qwiki

This is a straight-forward interface. Users land on the home page, input their topic and Qwiki will load and begin to play automatically. No more robotic sounding readers. Qwiki’s voice-over has almost completely removed the non-human, monotone Robbie the Robot voice, and replaced it with a surprisingly pleasant female voice that includes highs and lows in the appropriate places.  If you never thought an artificial voice could sound soothing, Qwiki may change that for you.

Resources? I would have imagined loading all of this media would have caused a bit longer load time. On a 64bit dual core processor +6000, it took no longer to load the search bar than Google blank page, it took .03 seconds longer to load the rest.

After your initial search plays, Qwiki offers you more options below and the topics seem to be highly relevant after many searches.

What Now?

I don’t see how Qwiki can help but change the way that internet searches currently work. The results are entertaining and at some point someone needs to jump on a research group that can dig into the details about learning curves and get Qwiki right now to the users who may be able to better retain information because of it. It is hard not to focus when you have a calming voice reading the text as it scrolls below gripping slideshows and photo galleries.




  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Basil Puglisi, Basil Puglisi. Basil Puglisi said: Could this be the end of "GOOGLE IT" […]

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