Veveo Extends ‘Conversational’ Search to Third-Party Platforms

Veveo is pitching the pay TV industry on a platform that doesn’t just let consumers command and control the video experience by uttering commands. Its next-gen system is also designed to let users search for content and receive recommendations by carrying on a “natural” conversation with televisions, set-top boxes and mobile devices.

And now it's looking to extend the reach of its SmartRelevance Conversational Platform via the launch of a modularized version that can be plugged into third-party search and recommendation systems.

Veveo’s next-gen, conversational-based system relies on a knowledge graph system to generate the kind of semantic capabilities that can be applied to search and discovery. This video illustrates how this ping-pong, conversational approach between human and machine is designed to work:

Advanced search and recommendation systems are coming into focus as pay TV operators develop tools to help customers sift through hundreds of live TV channels and thousands of video-on-demand choices. Cable operators and other pay TV operators have already deployed some form of search and recommendation, and won't be looking to switch them out. With that in mind, the aim of this new licensing model, said Veveo chief marketing officer Sam Vasisht, is to help legacy video search engines tack on the vendor's next-gen system.

And the MSOs apparently asked Veveo to open up its platform for just this purpose. “The driver for this modularization of out platform was something that came from the pay TV industry,” Vasisht said. Veveo has yet to announce any partners for the new program.

Vasisht said Veveo’s conversation-based system is currently undergoing trials ahead of an anticipated commercial rollout later this year. The company will demonstrate its conversational search and recommendation interface next week at The Cable Show in Washington, D.C.

Several pay TV operators already use Veveo’s earlier generation search and discovery technology, including Verizon FiOS, AT&T, Cablevision Systems, DirecTV and Comcast.  DirecTV and Comcast are among the group that has recently introduced voice-based search and control features. Comcast has not revealed its vendor partners for an upgraded version of its X1 Remote app for iOS devices that adds voice control. DirecTV said the core technology for its voice-capable search engine was designed in partnership with Nuance Communications, the company that powers Apple’s Siri voice recognition app. 

Veveo claims that its platform is built into more than 100 million connected devices, including televisions, set-top boxes, mobile phones and tablets.