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Saturday, December 18, 2004Kevin Laws asks the question Will desktop search also revolutionize the mobile world and provides some indicative answers. Excerpts from his piece and comments therein with edits and my views added:
The paradigm of yesterday is that you have multiple devices, and each one has its own set of information you work with. Your PDA holds your contacts and calendar, which occasionally syncs with Outlook where you also have your email. Your laptop contains your files and presentations that you work with, and your work server contains corporate files. Your home computer contains your digital photos and your private work.What a mess. We keep things consistent through a complicated set of procedures we learn over time: sync your PDA daily, enter numbers into your phone, copy files from your work servers or home computer to take with you on your laptop, and hope that you don't accidentally forget or change the same file in both places.
The latest fad in the consumer world is finally giving us a glimpse into the future. Google released the Google Desktop Search utility, which indexes your personal files and emails. It then allows you to search them using the familiar Google interface. It's cute, but the really powerful tool is called X1 (from the prolific folks at Idealab). It indexes all emails, even the old archived ones from three years ago, and has a variety of features that put Google to shame. This is finally a window into your desktop that could fit on a 2" by 2" screen. I wouldn't need to carry my desktop files around with me. I should be able to do a very simple text search on my Treo that will tell me precisely what file I'm looking for on my desktop. I could then download the file, work with it, and put it back.
The additional technology necessary to support this feature is trivial. All X1 or Google would need to do is open up a secure interface as a web server. Any device with a web browser - your laptop, your Treo, your cell phone - could log in and find the necessary file, email, or information. Your entire virtual world could be available to you in seconds through device that fits in your pocket. Will the desktop search companies realize this potential?
Cell phones are mobile, so the environment and the database are constantly changing.The killer app for Mobile Advertising will be a portal/platform that “turns on” those physical world hyperlinks. Search engines will lose initially when this transformation takes place. But eventually they will realize that brands will be directing traffic through this portal and will want a piece of this.
Nokia’s CEO Jorma Ollila states his goal is “to put the internet into every pocket”. Think bigger, how about making every physical object Internet accessible. Give every physical object in the world a physical world hyperlink. So who will offer this app/platform that advertisers/surfers choose to use for the mobile phone. |
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