Vodafone has displayed a brand new approach to internet search at CeBIT 2008. Well, the debut didn’t quite go as planned (more on that later), but the good thing is that ‘Otello’ did manage to see the light of the day. The newest approach to internet search – Otello – works not by texting in a stupid keyword, but by utilizing an image to search for the related content. So the users just MMS a picture from their cell phone and the search engine returns the related content. Searching for the latest antics of Britney would be so much easier with this thing!
Anyway, when you’re not a celebrity, it becomes really difficult to recognize you. This fact caused rather major embarrassment for Vodafone. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to use Otello to search a bit of trivia about, er, herself (who else!), the software responded with a wise crack that she wasn’t recognized. Ouch! Clearly Otello’s debut was anything but smooth sailing. Anyway, Vodafone will have another shot at judging the worth of their effort next week when readers of Blid (a German tabloid) will send in photos of specific stories to receive bonus content on their handsets. So I guess there won’t be any requests for with Merkel’s photos!