Sequoia Capital, which is known for its investments in both Google and Yahoo, today announced the private beta launch of its latest investment, Searchme, a visual search engine.
Searchme employs Adobe Flash and Flex to create a user interface that displays results as web page screenshots. the effect is similar to the Cover Flow feature in iTunes, where users "flip through" album cover art. Below the image results are text search results that look similar to Google results.
The perk of this technology is the ability to see a page before visiting it. If you're fatigued from clicking on links to parked sites and made-for-AdSense pages, then Searchme's visual results will be a welcome change.
But making sure the results are relevant is Searchme's challenge. In an interview with Kara Swisher at Boomtown, her All Things Digital blog, Adams said, "We are no Google, of course, but we are trying something different to provide a new experience for search users. Most of all, we are trying to innovate in search, which is still largely a text and list experience."