The workshop on Multimedia Information Retrieval (ACM MIR) will become a conference beginning this year. This is likely to give a new venue for mature research in this area. THis definitely shows the need for and maturing of multimedia information retieval.
Multimedia research in academia usually ends up being mono-media. We academicians like to show that we are rigorous and our current research tools allow dealing with reductionist approach and hence with isolated concepts easier than with interelated concepts. Multimedia requires dealing with partial information that may be coming from multiple sources and that is not something that academics will like. I believe that multimedia will be easier than mono. It will take time for researchers to change their culture and get into solving real problems and then bring in interelated information and context from multiple sources to solve the difficult problems in image, video and audio related information retrieval.
As for the ACM MIR conference, I liked two things. First — right in the first topic (Exploration of media archives they list experiential computing. Second – it seems that they are inviting people to talk about brave new ideas in which they want statement of bold research. If they can really get this to happen and then follow up on that, this will be a great idea. Usually such ideas start with good intentions but then are not well executed. Hopefully this will be executed well by them at this conference.