We’ve been saying that the screen in the hand will win over the screen on the desk for sometime. So it is with pleasure that we note the big boys are coming to the same position.
Chattertrap has already caught the eye of Li Ka-shing, a Chinese billionaire who has invested in Facebook and the music-streaming service Spotify. Mr. Li recently led a $1.5 million round of venture financing in the Chattertrap project.
SRI’s newfound interest in mobile and Web applications was born, in part, from a research project commissioned by the Defense Department to develop software that can learn, in an effort to create a more efficient way for the military to communicate and stay organized in the field. The project’s underlying technology, a combination of adaptive machine learning and natural-language processing, has spawned several offshoots.
Each year, SRI tests the marketability of roughly 2,000 technology ventures, but typically only three or four are ever established as independent businesses.
Charles S. Golvin, an analyst with Forrester Research who follows the mobile industry, said SRI was tapping into the mobile market at a time when the need to simplify searching is greater than ever.
“The old paradigm of having a desktop computer in front of you with a large screen to search around for what you want is going away,” Mr. Golvin said. “More and more, the information you want online is coming from the palm of your hand.”
Since most mobile phones have small, cramped screens and tiny keyboards, voice-activated search and speech recognition become much more powerful, Mr. Golvin said.