A new product search engine dubbed Hidentify has launched with the ambition to help consumers make educated buying decisions sans the hassle of conducting complicated research on the Web.
In essence, Hidentify lets people express their needs in natural language rather than by composing queries filled with technical details, and still find out what the right product is and where they can purchase it right away.
Hidentify (correctly) posits that finding the right product online can sometimes feel like a chore, with choices including rather basic Web or mobile search engines, ecommerce sites with filter sidebars, price comparison sites, product wikis, product review aggregators and whatnot.
The company thinks there must be a better way to search for stuff to buy online: using your own words. Instead of searching for ‘an affordable notebook with a 19″ screen and a 2.53 GHz processor’, you would enter something like ‘cheap powerful laptop with large screen’ in Hidentify and get a list of matching products.
Once users get a list of products that Hidentify has guessed matches their needs best, they can tweak some of the search filters and/or head straight over to a seller’s website as soon as they’ve determined which product to purchase.
I think it’s an interesting idea to be able to use common language for product research on the Web, especially for people who only buy products that require some serious online researching once or twice a year – but then I think Hidentify faces an uphill battle since it needs to attract many such users to be viable as a business. The underlying semantic technology may prove to be appealing to a host of ecommerce giants (Amazon? eBay? Google?) though.
The startup plans to make money from affiliate advertising (by sending ready-to-buy consumers to seller’s websites) and running advertising on their own website.