Volunia, an Italy-based search engine, is preparing for its early beta stages. It promises to be a "radical new view" of search, and is being spearheaded by famed technology thinker Massimo Marchiori, PC World reported.
A New Search Concept from the Father of PageRank
While Larry Page and Sergey Brin certainly deserve credit for their effective implementation of the PageRank concept, the Google founders have had no issues in crediting Massimo Marchiori for the idea. It was Marchiori's HyperSearch concept, presented at a 1996 conference, that sparked the idea for PageRank as we now think of it.
Since Marchiori has come across at least one revolutionary search concept in the past, it's worth an eyebrow raise that he claims his latest project "[is] a different perspective. It's a new radical view of what a search engine of the future could be." While excited about the project, Marchiori has declined to release any further details. He states that Google "would have no difficulty in setting 100 engineers to work day and night on our idea and in coming out before us."
What we do know is that Marchiori's new search project is called "Volunia," and will be (in Marchiori's terms) a "fencer's foil" to Google's "club." The Volunia site is currently seeking applicants for "power user" positions. These power users would be granted early beta access and direct lines of communication to developers.
Those interested in learning more about this highly veiled search can watch the videos posted on the Volunia site (such as the one embedded above) and check back in with the site for future updates. While the site is approaching beta, there is still no launch date or even an estimated launch year.
Mariano Pireddu, an entrepreneur with a focus in IT, is funding the project. Pireddu clarifies that only he and Marchiori are currently partners, and that "We have sufficient funds to finance the early stages of the venture. It's premature to talk about the possible entry of new investors." The company is working with a staff of developers and engineers, however, including engineers who were taught by Marchiori at the University of Padua.
Marchiori hasn't sat still since the 1996 HyperSearch presentation. His work with the Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P), the Web Ontology Language (OWL), and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have continued to make a stir over the last decade.
Would you like to be a power user? What do you think Volunia's concept will be? Do you think they can make a dent in Google's practical monopoly? Leave your thoughts in the comments, below.