Project Emporia from Microsoft Research FUSE Labs (short for FUture Social Experiences Labs) and England's Cambridge University is a mobile news reader that aggregates stories from the social web.
Created as a Twitter app, the project evolved into a mobile search app for Windows 7 devices. Users can customize the feeds and vote up or down the headlines pulled in, as the app serves up a continuous stream of fresh content based on the community.
Emporia is presented as a solution to information overflow as described on its website: "It sifts through ever-evolving news streams to identify hot news stories, categorizes them into topic areas and ranks them, and then presents them to you in a friendly and easy-to-use UI. With Project Emporia you get relevant stories on topics of your choice."
You can influence how future stories are chosen for you by clicking to see "more stories like this," "less stories like this" or bookmark it ("but not influence your voting").
In essence, “What Emporia does is grab the Twitter public feed and automatically filter content in accordance with certain criteria that Microsoft calls lenses. Essentially, users can select lenses/topics and access Twitter updates related to the options they set. For example, Emporia is currently offering lenses such as Technology, Entertainment, Sports, News and Business. Users can restrict search results even further by entering queries related to the topic they’re interested in.”
The news aggregator, recently demoed at the Next11 conference in Berlin, was described as "computational intelligence technologies on large online data collections."
Two Microsoft technologies, auto categorization and matchbox, drive the Emporia app which gathers about 1 million shared URLs on Twitter daily. The service is currently in Alpha stage, and access to the like/dislike options is limited to FUSE employees, but access to the Emporia website and the Cloud application are open for business.
FUSE, which stands for Future Social Experiences, is a deeper social dive for Microsoft, with significant implications for a sea change in the Twitter-verse. To that end, follow Project Emporia on Twitter for breaking news on its own progress.