Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Internet content is looking for you

07.05.2013
Where you are and what you're doing increasingly play key roles in how you search the Internet. In fact, your search may just conduct itself.

This concept, called "contextual search," is improving so gradually the changes often go unnoticed, and we may soon forget what the world was like without it, according to Brian Proffitt, a technology expert and adjunct instructor of management in the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business.

Contextual search describes the capability for search engines to recognize a multitude of factors beyond just the search text for which a user is seeking. These additional criteria form the "context" in which the search is run. Recently, contextual search has been getting a lot of attention due to interest from Google.

Utilizing contextual search, Google Now provides information based on location, and by accessing calendar entries and travel confirmation messages in Gmail accounts. Available on Android for the last six months, Google Now was just released for the iPhone/iPad platform.

"You no longer have to search for content, content can search for you, which flips the world of search completely on its head," says Proffitt, who is the author of 24 books on mobile technology and personal computing and serves as an editor and daily contributor for ReadWrite.com, one of the most widely read and respected tech blogs in the world.

"Basically, search engines examine your request and try to figure out what it is you really want," Proffitt says. "The better the guess, the better the perceived value of the search engine. In the days before computing was made completely mobile by smartphones, tablets and netbooks, searches were only aided by previous searches.

"Today, mobile computing is adding a new element to contextual searches," he says. "By knowing where and when a search is being made, contextual search engines can infer much more about what you want and deliver more robust answers. For example, a search for nearby restaurants at breakfast time in Chicago will give you much different answers than the exact same search in Tokyo at midnight."

Context can include more than location and time. Search engines will also account for other users' searches made in the same place and even the known interests of the user.

"Someday soon," Proffitt says, "you'll watch a trailer of the latest romantic movie, and the next time you search for movie times at the local theater, that movie will be prominently displayed."

Also on the horizon, contextual searches may be teamed up with the "Internet of Things," a euphemism used to describe an inter-connected network of devices large and small, reporting data on what's going on around them.

"Imagine a part in your car sending a malfunction signal that schedules your car for a repair appointment," Proffitt says, "followed up by an automated function that checks your calendar online and schedules the appointment for you. Or, consider a hydro-sensor in your garden that sends you a message to let you know the plants need more water."

This is just the tip of what the Internet of Things will do, according to Proffitt.

"Coupled with contextual searching, it could transform our online experience to something where, instead of us searching for knowledge, objects and machines around us will be delivering information to us or taking direct action," he says. "Clothes could grow more opaque if the UV rating is too high on a given day. Pricing information for a new TV in the electronics store might display right on your phone. Nutrition information for cupcakes in your favorite bakery..."

"It will all be there at your fingertips."

Brian Proffitt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nd.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Study suggests buried Internet infrastructure at risk as sea levels rise
17.07.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers
17.07.2018 | University of Colorado at Boulder

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>