Scientists in Scotland are helping to develop an internet search engine which can answer questions about the physical world in real time.
The system will aim to allow web users to search and analyse data from sensors such as webcams and microphones.
This would make possible internet search questions such as: "How busy is the city centre?"
The team from Glasgow University hopes the European-funded Smart project will be ready for testing by 2014.
Dr Iadh Ounis, from the university school of computing science, said: "The Smart project will be built upon an open-source search engine technology known as Terrier we have been developing at the university since 2004.
"The Smart engine will be able to answer high-level queries by automatically identifying cameras, microphones and other sensors that can contribute to the query, then synthesising results stemming from distributed sources in an intelligent way."
The Smart project is a joint research initiative with nine partners.
These include Atos, Athens Information Technology, IBM's Haifa Research Lab, Imperial College London, City of Santander, PRISA Digital, Telesto and Consorzio S3 Log.