Is Mobile Search a Battle Ground in your organization?
The other day I landed in my third city of the week. Lost somewhere in Cincinnati Ohio, even though I had lived there for 10 years. I logged onto my cellular phone search application and tried one more time to find the address I was looking for.
I ended up calling the person I was visiting, and asking them where I had turned wrong. He started the conversation by saying “ah, you were using XYZ online mapping for directions.”
Yes I was. I was using a mobile search application to attempt to find the address of a company that had been in business for 20 years and in that location for at least 10 years. Although, according to two internet based search engines they were located in a completely different place.
I got to thinking, as an architect about the concept beyond mobile search. Is mobile search the future for companies? I wasted 25 minutes driving back and forth, if that happened to me 10 times in a year, that would be over 4 hours of lost time.
What would be required of a mobile search to regain that five hours of time for me? Mobile search is all about quick hits, small information bits and directions. It doesn’t do well for downloading and reading the entire guide to New York City, just the tidbits that are relevant to you and where you are.
And what would that be? Bird’s eye views? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve seldom flown 100 feet over most of the places I am going to or have been to, so that doesn’t help me. Maps are useful – I can figure out where I am most of the time. A little flashing red dot on the screen saying “you are here” like in a mall map helps as well. When I am in a new city, a relevance marker would be nice. Scott, I see that you are not home, would you like a list of restaurants near where you are now?
What about the ability to search against external dB’s for relevant historical components while walking. (you are now walking where James Joyce walked etc). That would be of value to me. Sometimes I find myself in the middle of someplace only to find out that 200 years ago it was a Civil War battlefield or, the place where Washington once camped.
How about things I need to do – upcoming birthdays? Why not remind me of those types things while passing by a store. Better yet, have my spouse enter her “interests” into my search engine so when I pass by a store that sells something she wants, I am notified and can go get it for her!
All of this would be the perfect search engine. Does one exist today? No. Some of the parts do, but not the package.
The package however, would rock!