Mobile broadband: Search as the new killer app?

Posted on April 26, 2011  /  1 Comments

We do not believe in the killer app. Multiple apps is what we think will drive mobile broadband. But if there be a killer, it will probably be search, as this NYT article suggests:

Today, Google says mobile searches are growing as quickly as Web searches were at the same stage in the company’s early days, and they are up sixfold in the last two years. Google has a market share of 97 percent for mobile searches, according to StatCounter, which tracks Web use.

Now that it dominates the field, Google is throwing its burly computing power and heaps of data at new problems specific to mobile phones — like translating phone calls on the fly and recognizing photos of things like plants and items of clothing

But it search reinvented, not the same old, same old.

People can now snap photos of landmarks or wine labels to search for them using Google Goggles, speak to their phones using voice search and, on Android phones, translate spoken conversations between English and Spanish.

“We as an academic community would have figured this out, but we wouldn’t have been able to set it up on this kind of scale,” said Alexei A. Efros, an associate professor in computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon

And the prediction?

“Mobile search is definitely going to surpass desktop search,” said Scott B. Huffman, who works on mobile search at Google and leads its search evaluation team. “The lines will pass, and I think they’ll pass before anyone thought they would.”

1 Comment

  1. Google Goggles may go on sale at the end of this year:
    I’d be interested in testing it crisis information communication with first-responders sending voice, images, and text of incident reports (specifically field-observation reports); It’s essentially Ushahidi in your face. How affordable is it? Under US$100 I’ll take one.