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Sensor search engine developed
Scientists are developing a new internet search engine which will use information from sensors in the real world to deliver results.
Computer scientists at the University of Glasgow are taking part in the European-funded project, known as SMART, for a "search engine for multimedia environment generated content".
The search engine will work by matching queries with information from sensors such as cameras and microphones, and cross-referencing data from social networks such as Twitter.
Users will receive detailed responses to questions such as "what part of the city hosts live music events which my friends have been to recently?" or "how busy is the city centre?".
Standard search engines such as Google are not able to answer search queries of this kind.
Dr Iadh Ounis, of the University of Glasgow's School of Computing Science, said: "The SMART project will be built upon an open-source search engine technology known as Terrier we have been developing at the university since 2004, and we're pleased to be involved in this innovative research initiative.
"The SMART engine will be able to answer high-level queries by automatically identifying cameras, microphones and other sensors that can contribute to the query, then synthesising results stemming from distributed sources in an intelligent way.
"SMART builds upon the existing concept of 'smart cities', physical spaces which are covered in an array of intelligent sensors which communicate with each other and can be searched for information. The search results sourced from these smart cities can be reused across multiple applications, making the system more effective.
"We expect that SMART will be tested in a real city by 2014."
The SMART project is a joint research initiative with nine partners including Imperial College London.