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16

September

2011

Search May Be Absolutely ‘Tabulous’ :

Some experts and soothsayers are predicting that the days of [enter text into search box] and [get results] are numbered. What will replace keyboards and context-less search will come from the growing use of tablets. In fact, IT analyst group, Forrester, is predicting that tablet sales will total 195 million units between 2010 and 2015, with tablet sales eclipsing laptop sales by 2015 – that means in three years more people will buy a tablet than a laptop.

So what the tablet brings to the search equation is a unified experience, which means it can draw on your eyes, ears and cognitive process. One day search results could differ by where you are looking, what you are seeing at that moment (through a tablet’s camera) and how much time you want to spend reading the results. Add to that the potential for voice search and gestures and we get search experiences far more dynamic than type-and-hit-enter. Instead you can take a picture of what you want to learn more about or simply ask your tablet a question.

Speaking further about what search may look like through a tablet’s “viewpoint,” Norman Winarsky, vice president of SRI Ventures and search expert, said that “eventually, search will not be a separate activity. It will be incorporated into the operating system of the tablet.”

Of course, this means that search of this new unified nature will be led by the company that can best incorporate all the right elements – social media, speech recognition, artificial intelligence. And no doubt more than one of you are thinking of Google. Maybe it will be, or maybe it will open the door to a new supreme search leader. Nevertheless, the consumer will come to expect more from their search experience in the coming years.