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Search and Wireless Internet

June 12th, 2004 · No Comments

Reuters writes how Google could transform the wireless Internet:

“The mobile game is wide open,” Gartner analyst Michael King said. ” … It’s one of the last frontiers.” No Internet company has yet emerged as a big brand in wireless, he added.

Froogle Wireless, a comparison-shopping service that Google is testing, could be the model for its future mobile efforts.

“They scale it down to make sense on your phone,” said Chris Sherman, author of “The Invisible Web,” a book on the limitations of search engines.

In the PC version, Froogle shows product details, pictures and the prices different online retailers charge for an item. For mobile phones, Froogle shows just the product name, the price and the vendor. This lets people quickly check online prices on their phone while out shopping, Sherman said.

If Google uses this economical method to display other types of information on the tiny phone screens, it will help the company make its name in wireless, he said.

Google is also testing location-based searching, which narrows results to specific cities or zip codes. For example, this could help people find the nearest coffee shop as they stand on a street corner.

The company is also building searches on personal preferences so that a search for nightclubs could be narrowed to jazz clubs.

In time, Google could exploit the growing popularity of phones with cameras by letting people search for data based on photographs they take. It already has a large searchable index of online pictures.

And voice-activated search commands could eventually help mobile surfers, Sherman added.

Tags: Search Engines

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