The self named ‘Computational Knowledge Engine’ Wolfram Alpha is to open-up its Application Programming Interface (API) to third-party developers.
Wolfram Alpha calculates and answers technical queries making use of graphics, animation and a ten trillion unit data pool. The data sets include astronomical, chemical, geo-political, financial, mathematical, language and weather.
Regular search-engines differ in that they only search the web for and list data-sources.
Software developers working for the science community could benefit from this new service. Wolfram cites examples such as cancer research and biological computations as potential uses.
The service will not be free. Charges will range from US$60, allowing a developer’s programmes 1000 API look-ups, to US$220000 for ten million requests.
Traffic on its site has not been as high as hoped since its initial launch at the start of 2009. Many people were confused as to its purpose thinking it was a regular but more powerful search-engine.
Opening it up to outside programmers could bring the desired revenues and usage.
Wolfram Alpha is currently accessing their own API to develop their forthcoming iPhone Application.