Today I discovered a new and very different search engine. Spezify is a new search tool which presents its results using beautiful visual boxes from content it discovers based on search engine results and rich media sites like Flickr, YouTube where it scours to get imagery and even finds ways to present textual content in a pretty fashion. If I had to provide a quick description that many of you would understand it would be if Google married SweetCron and this was their spawn.
Just like any new search tool the first thing you are mandated to do is a vanity search. So when I searched for my name I quickly realized that the results could easily pass as a Lifestream for me. The results included recent Flickr photos, YouTube videos, Tweets, profile descriptions and more. Now I know this may not be the case for everyone, especially depending on how common your name and its associated results may be, however I found it to be very cool in my case and think it’s worthy of trying for yourself as well.
Beyond being able to use it as a Lifestreaming search engine, you can create really nice visual / informational pages on any topic or entity. Below are several examples to demonstrate this including The Smiths, X PRIZE Foundation (my employer), and Hamburger (my other true love).
After you receive the results page you can click and hold your mouse to scroll up and down as well as left and right to reveal more results dynamically as you scroll. This got me thinking that if these guys partnered up with the folks at Cooliris to provide a 3D visual interface that I might never leave my house. You also have an options page where you can choose whether to include results from various search engines and web services, filter results to include images, video, text, or all of them, or provide “safe” search results. Lastly they also generated related key words based on your search which you can then click on to view their results.
Here’s a snip from the Spezify site with their description of the service:
We take web search further, away from endless lists of blue text links and towards a more intuitive experience. We want you to get a good overview of a subject, find useful information and be inspired with Spezify. We collect websites and are aiming to use as many relevant, free and open API:s as possible to generate extensive and diverse search results.
Spezify also reminded me of another nice visual search engine called Viewzi that you should also check out. When I went there tonight to take a look they seemed to have added quite a few more features and have progressed quite nicely since the last time I visited the site.
We are a visual culture and the nice mix of images, video, and text is a new interface paradigm that is becoming more and more common and seems to really be striking a chord with web users. I really look forward to watching Spezify evolve and include a larger group of services in their results as they plug into more API’s in the future.