Taptu is a new kind of search engine for mobile phones, being launched today at the Mobile 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. Taptu uses a new technique which they call "Social Assisted Search" (SAS) - it combines algorithms with human feedback (from which it derives "social relevancy scores") to deliver the results. Taptu's aim is to enable users to search and find useful content "in 10 taps or less." Taptu CEO Stephen Ives claims that for other mobile search services it "takes an average of 30 taps and scrolls and two-and-a-half minutes to get to good results."
The other notable feature of Taptu is that it includes rich media - e.g. playable audio and video. Here's an example:
In the Mobile Launch Pad Segment which I'm watching as I write this, CEO Stephen Ives says that Taptu has special algorithms catered to mobile. He says they find "the best mobile friendly results".
The first public version of Taptu, being launched today at http://taptu.mobi, focuses on music and fact-finding. However expect more categories to be added in the coming months. The first release is optimized for 20 popular handsets from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola - and the iPhone.
Taptu is also releasing a Facebook application today, called Music Wall. It's powered by the same search engine and allows Facebook users to find music on the web, add to their profile and share with their friends. The company says that future releases will include "a unique social network to mobile integration."