Watson's patent-pending technology was developed at Northwestern University's DevLab in Evanston, Ill., and has been in commercial development for the past two years. In emerging from the incubation stage, the company has changed its name to Intellext from Open Road Technologies, has unveiled a new corporate identity and Web presence, and has hired Al Wasserberger as its CEO. The company will also be moving out of the DevLab facility to a downtown Chicago office.
Watson is designed to determine what information is relevant to each user, and form contextually based queries rather than simple one or two-word search terms to generate the most useful and complete set of results. Watson automatically brings users relevant information from their company's external and internal information sources including Web sites, desktop search applications, online news sites, subscriber services and search engines, as well as documents and data from a company's corporate knowledge management systems, databases, and intranets. If the user chooses, Watson will also retrieve advertisements that are related to their current work. The Watson product suite is available in three editions: Standard, Professional, and Enterprise.
The Standard Edition is for individual business users to take advantage of in the workplace. Watson Standard proactively searches Web sites and desktop search applications for information relevant to what the user is working on. Information sources included with Watson Standard include Web search engines, news sites, analyst and media databases, and subscription-based external data sources. Watson Standard can be downloaded to an individual's desktop from the Intellext Web site.
Watson Professional is available for small and medium-sized businesses with up to 500 users. In addition to the functionality of Watson Standard, Watson Professional users also have access to corporate data sources such as corporate portal intranets and extranets, knowledge management solutions, and corporate databases.Watson Enterprise is for large organizations with complex environments. This edition includes all functionality available in Watson Professional, as well as: the Watson Enterprise Server, which consists of software management and reporting tools, access to a more extensive, customizable set of information sources with the MuseServer and its additional information sources, and the ability for companies to customize and brand the Watson application.