Coveo Wins Patent for Search Technology

Coveo announced today that its audio/video, speech recognition-powered search technology received a patent. Part of the company’s Coveo Audio-Video Search (CAVS) technology, the Coveo speech recognition application differentiates from others because it can both cater to a specific industry’s jargon and modify its dictionary as needed. The company’s largest two verticals, consulting firms and complex manufacturing, often use these products for indexing information in formats such as training videos or webinars.

According to Richard Tessier, Coveo’s executive vice president of products, the company wanted its CAVS technology to not only provide accurate searches, but include customer-specific terms. "When we talked to prospects [about searching rich media content], their prior experiences with speech recognition technology provided good results, but only with very generic types of content," he says. "We looked for ways to improve the technology, and also train it to recognize the vocabulary in these organizations."

The CAVS technology works with Coveo Enterprise Search, and searches audio and video formats the same way others search emails, PDFs, or chat sessions. Tessier says many companies apply the technology to training videos, allowing employees to quickly access necessary information without wading through minutes, or even hours, of irrelevant material.

"You may have someone who needs to repair a piece of hardware, and there’s a video for that, and you want to look for a particular item within that by using a word," he states.

To enhance the engine’s search capabilities, CAVS technology "self-learns" by mining content from audio and video files, using that information to further tailor the application to a specific industry. The technology also recognizes proper names, employee names, product names, and brands. Tessier says that enabling these capabilities, "takes the deployment cycle from months to days."

And though software patents can take between four to five years to be awarded, Tessier says Coveo chose an option called Fast Track. By disclosing more information and aiding the patenting office with its research efforts, the company received the patent in one year. Though it required more work on Coveo’s part, Tessier says the effort was worthwhile.

"Sometimes you get the patent when the technology is less useful as it would have been" he says.

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