Well it seems like the big tech companies are all making a slew of changes in the upcoming year. Microsoft has Windows 8 coming out, Apple has a new iPhone, and the King Of Search? Well Google has a few tricks up its sleeves as well that all directly or indirectly involve search!
Google’s search engine is so powerful it has changed how everyone interacts with the Internet and apparently this is only the beginning. The Next Web recently sat down in Google’s offices to have a little sit down with their team and report on what Google is working on at the time. One of the most common questions they are ever asked is What is the future of search? Well today they gave a surprisingly simple answer that really makes a lot of sense when you read it:
Everyone who asks that question, knows the answer deep inside their heart. They’ve actually dreamt the search engine of the future already.
Search is about finding information and for the most part Google does a rock solid job. They have progressed from seeing themselves as just a search engine long ago and what they actually are striving for, long term, is to become an assistant to helping you navigate the web, and everything else. With over 100 billion searches a month they are clearly on the step in the right direction. One of their major hurdles though in advanced?
If we are going to build the search of the future, we will have to solve difficult technology issues like speech recognition and natural language.
When you keep that in mind what you have to realize is that the future is already here. It is currently taking baby steps but Google and Apple’s ‘assistants’ are really just the initial phases of releasing what Google seems to eventually be able to release as a universal assistant. What is Google’s assistant based on? Well basically it’s just a different way to search.
Anyone who has used an Android 4.1 device’s voice search knows that it’s an amazing step forward from Google’s earlier version and even by many Apple enthusiasts standards just a preferred way to have a virtual assistant on a phone. Well it looks like everyone using an iOS device will soon have access to Voice Search. While it’s not as complete as Google Now is for Android. How much of the features won’t be there is questionable as they do seem to say that most of the actual usability is intact.
Of course another key aspect of the future of search is Universal Search. Yes, Google has been allowing for ways to factor all of your searches together in one place and now it looks as if they are allowing for e-mail to fit into the mix. In fact the guys over at The Next Web were recently being shown exactly how being able to parse through e-mail in your direct search could be truly be beneficial when you can have it parse out shipping orders, invitations, and flight confirmations. Again factors that will be great to have included when it’s eventually included in your personal assistant that is built into your phone.
What else does Google have up its sleeve? Well TechCrunch was happy to let everyone know that Google’s Knowledge Graph is both being expanded on and being rolled out to the entire world (as long as the search is being done in English.) For those who aren’t sure what Knowledge Base is it’s the results at the top right of your screen when you do a search on Google for information that should be standardized. Search for a President? It will show his picture, when he was born, when he was President, etc. This is the case for many major searches that you can do these days. Eventually translations will go out to everyone but for the time being it is only in English while all of the kinks are being worked out. However results will be region specific as well.
So we have a lot of search enhancements as well as a new way to actually use search coming in the near future. Will it all be a hit? Only time will tell but while many Google projects don’t make the cut the majority of their major changes have caught on and been favorites of Google users.