Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Internet content is looking for you

Date:
May 6, 2013
Source:
University of Notre Dame
Summary:
"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 a technology expert.

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.

"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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Notre Dame. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Notre Dame. "Internet content is looking for you." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130506181749.htm>.
University of Notre Dame. (2013, May 6). Internet content is looking for you. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130506181749.htm
University of Notre Dame. "Internet content is looking for you." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130506181749.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

JPMorgan Chase Confirms Possible Cyber Attack

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 28, 2014) Attackers stole checking and savings account information and lots of other data from JPMorgan Chase, according to the New York Times. Other banks are believed to be victims as well. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spend 2 Minutes Watching This Smartwatch Roundup

Spend 2 Minutes Watching This Smartwatch Roundup

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) LG announces a round-faced smartwatch, Samsung adds 3G connectivity to its latest wearable, and Apple will reportedly announce the iWatch on Sept. 9. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Reveals Drone Delivery Program, 'Project Wing'

Google Reveals Drone Delivery Program, 'Project Wing'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Google has been developing a drone delivery system of its own, and it hopes to revolutionize how people view possessions with it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Apple Might Add Mobile Payment Options To iPhone 6

Why Apple Might Add Mobile Payment Options To iPhone 6

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) A report by Wired suggests Apple's next iPhone will feature a mobile payment system and near-field communication. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins