Thursday, January 27, 2005

Howard Rheingold On Search

From Technology Review mag The Yahoo factor.

When I see Howard Rheingold make comments on search I pay attention. The guy is a true visionary.

If the computer hard drive is the engine for the information age, then it derives its power from the ability to search and deliver information quickly and seamlessly.

"Mobile searches are potentially revolutionary," says Howard Rheingold, who authored the book Smart Mobs and oversees the SmartMobs blog, which tracks the evolution of mobile technologies. "The speech to text for a mobile device would be really helpful -- it would be a localizing search.

Search literacy is still extremely important, due to the vast amount of information on the Web. Howard Rheingold talks about the importance of knowing how to search.

"There are two key issues here – location awareness and local resources in your search. Ideally we will be able to do a voice to text that will come along. I think that because of the rate in which technology changes – again, it is a literacy problem, how do people keep up?" said Rheingold.

"It used to be the digital divide was between the rich and the poor – now, everyone has a mobile phone, many people have access to computers…again, it’s knowing how to use it. It’s no longer the haves/have nots it’s the knows how/doesn’t know…when it comes to computer use," Rheingold says.

The next phase might be that the phone knows who you are and you could find, using your phone, what you need, immediately. This would go far beyond a desktop search."

Between LBS (location based services ie GPS) and physical world hyperlinks, this is all possible.

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