Microsoft has highlighted the entertainment functions of the Xbox One more than its gaming side, to the point that the first Xbox One TV ad showcased the NFL app and fantasy football without mentioning video games at all. Among the biggest features Microsoft has discussed is the ability to search the Web, control your TV and navigate all entertainment content by speaking to the Xbox Kinect sensor. Now we know more about the technology behind that, at least for Xbox One video searches.
Searching for TV shows and discovering new videos on Xbox Live involves more than talking out loud and having videos appear. Microsoft isn’t that magical. Every Xbox One video search begins with deciding what exactly you want to look for. From there, the “Entertainment Genome” software from Jinni will power all the background operations that deliver the search results directly to your console.
Jinni specializes in video content discovery, and their expertise compelled Microsoft to sign a multi-year agreement with Jinni “to enhance entertainment discovery on Xbox video game and entertainment systems.” So, when you talk to your Kinect sensor to start your first Xbox One video search, it will be Jinni’s proprietary Entertainment Genome software that delivers the results to your TV screen.
According to the announcement from Jinni, the company’s software has knowledge of every show and movie in the Xbox Video catalog, well beyond just titles and recaps. This exhaustive data will help the Xbox recommendations system “intuitively and accurately connect Xbox users to content they’ll enjoy.” Surely some ad-supported results will appear as well.
“Creating the most amazing entertainment experience means always putting the customer experience first,” said Dave Alles, Xbox General Manager. “Our goal is to make it effortless to get you to entertainment you’ll truly love. Pairing Jinni’s Entertainment Genome with other key advances such as Conversational Understanding, makes finding something to watch on Xbox as fun as watching it.”
Xbox recommendations go beyond the standard genre similarity. The Jinni service contains thousands of video “genes” that are assigned to each title. These data points describe the video’s mood, style, plot, setting and more. When paired with other Xbox signals, such as a user’s viewing history, the search results are intended to be truly customized.
New titles will be automatically indexed via analysis of user reviews and synopses, ensuring that future Xbox One video searches will be just as effective and, over time, more-accurately reflect the true viewing preferences of individual Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners.