The Washington Post reports that a new search engine called Omnity is on the way, which is targeted at researchers and students. Not only is it being recognized for unique features that Google doesn’t offer, many publications are calling it “smarter than Google.”
Reports indicate that Omnity separates itself from the pack by serving up results which best match the search term entered in. There’s also the added capability of indicating how those results relate to one another.
If you’re researching a subject you know little about, for example, you can type it in as a search term and immediately see which resources are getting cited the most. In addition you can see who has conducted the most influential research on the subject as well as which university is leading when it comes to research on that subject.
Omnity will pull information from a variety of sets of data including: SEC filings, publicly available news, organizational reports, scientific journals, financial reports, and legal histories.
Alternatively, you can input your own data sources. For example, you can upload a piece of your own research, or some research papers found elsewhere, and the search engine will return the links to other resources that are relevant but not directly cited in sources you’ve uploaded. With this feature, you can easily find you can find unique sources of information to add to your research.
The Washington Post argues that Omnity overcomes one of the problems of modern search engines, which is the fact that today search engines are based on keywords. With that being the case, today search engines can only return results if the keywords in the title of the page match what’s being search for. Omnity improves on the current search model by scanning through the entirety of a document.
The Post concedes that Omnity is not likely to overtake Google at any point in time, but niche search engines still have a place in the market. As search continues to evolve, we may see Omnity being used in a way we can’t predict at this time. The Washington Post gives the example of niche search engine Wolfram Alpha, originally marketed as a computational search engine, now helps to power a search giant known as Siri.
It’s worth keeping an eye on new search engines like this because it’s an indication of where other search engine’s might be going. It also demonstrates how our search habits are changing over time.