Search engine goes online

Ottawa-based Incogna Inc. launches its innovative image search engine, thanks to support from the Ottawa Technology Transfer Network and uOttawa’s Technology Transfer and Business Enterprise. Available to the public free of charge, the search engine “helps users to find what they want faster and easier than the common image search engines,” says Kris Woodbeck, Incogna.jpgfounder of Incogna and inventor of the startup’s technology, for which he was named Innovator of the Year in 2007 by uOttawa. “Users can click on an image to find more results that visually matches their selection, so they don’t have to deal with the clutter in other image search engines.” Unlike most search engines, which focus on text, Incogna’s engine processes the visual information contained in each image, providing a more effective search, according to the company. The idea for the search engine arose when Mr. Woodbeck, then a master’s student in uOttawa’s computer science program, noticed similarities between how graphics hardware and the human brain processed visual information. According to Incogna, “Most existing image search engines only do a ‘meta-tag search’ – they only look at the labels for each image. Instead, the Incogna engine processes the visual information contained in each image, and does this using strong hints from cells of the brain’s visual cortex.” To learn more about the search engine, check out the video clip at http://www.video.ca/video.php?id=1734656814

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