We know Google has played with this a bit, but I think this is the most important development in local search to date.
If Yahoo can beat Google to the "shopping comparison" search gold mine, Yahoo just might regain a good share of the search sector it has lost.
If I fire up my cell phone to yahoo and say, apples and Yahoo search can tell me the cheapest and closest place to buy apples - search nirvana awaits.
is not going to work that way Brett. Usually we go shopping for apples, oranges, pears and cereal. Or shoes, socks and pants. There's no way one is going to sit there and type all that into a cellphone. Even if we did, one store has cheaper apples, the other has cheapper pears. Will we drive 10 minutes to save than the gas we spent?
For larger objects it maybe good, but usually we don't do those on a whim; we research it online first. If you want to find a chinese restaurant in a town you don't know that's different...
|Even if we did, one store has cheaper apples, the other has cheapper pears. |
Give me the cheapest overall cost then. Oh man, life would be good.
I like googles tool where you can type GOOGL and then the Zip code and name of business and it messages you back with the info..
"Give me the cheapest overall cost then. Oh man, life would be good. "
Come on, I have a Treo and it's a pain to even type two sentences. Imagine having to type the entire shopping list into a phone, with codes and one by one.
|Imagine having to type the entire shopping list into a phone, with codes and one by one. |
Speaking as someone who doesn't have problems with their text capability:
|Oh man, life would be good. |
Think two (ok, maybe three) steps further - what about those locate-a-mobile services? I think they are pretty accurate, up to 100 feet or something.
Combine that information with the ability to identify and store mobile search queries (evil, I know, but tempting).
And voila: You walk down the street, pass your favorite shoe store. You receive a message - "Hey, the shoes you searched for last week, we now have them in stock - in your size. And guess what, we had a feelin you are currently just a minute from our shop."
5 years from now - or less?
"And guess what, we had a feelin you are currently just a minute from our shop."
that's coming and it will be a nightmare. Too many people don't see the invasion of privacy and accept. Eventually it will become required by law, like the 911 thing is on the cell phones now.
Why are you so (seemingly) grumpy about this? The new technology that will be soon possible is extremely exciting! I for one love sudden's idea, and can't wait for it.
I highly doubt something that unnecessary would become required by law.
Voice recognition isn't too bad on the cell phones.
Yahoo: 4 results withint walking distance: Begin walking east...
|4 results withint walking distance: |
That's assuming that you live in a city that has restaurants.
Us "rural country folk" could only wish we could have the luxury of picking up the phone and calling someone to get a pizza delivered!
Ironically, I don't see local search helping locals. Rather, I would target it towards business people and tourists. If you live in the neighborhood, you know where all the best and inexpensive spots will be. As a visitor, you either have to talk with locals or use your mobile phone.
There needs to be a way to keep the data fresh and some way to rank results using other sources. Using Brett's example, there may be four restaurants all within walking distance, but which restaurant choice will likely be your favorite? Hahaha, if we could rate the restaurant later on and match it up with other profiles, the search results would be very accurate in suggesting a restaurant you would like. hmmm :)
"Why are you so (seemingly) grumpy about this? The new technology that will be soon possible is extremely exciting! I for one love sudden's idea, and can't wait for it. "
call me old fashion but I would like to go somewhere without Verizon, General Motors, the governemnt, or Yahoo knowing every step I make. That's all.
Let me ask you a question: if a cop says, "Do you mind if we check your house, because x thing happened?" what do you say? I'm the type that would say no unless you you have a search warrant. Just on principle.
>>>Ironically, I don't see local search helping locals. Rather, I would target it towards business people and tourists.
Many local search queries are for massage parlors, hotels, and restaurants,and airports, queries the typical tourist would make.
"Many local search queries are for massage parlors, hotels, and restaurants,and airports, queries the typical tourist would make."
very true. Most people live in the same area for many years if not decades. If you don't know where Taco Bell is in the town you've lived for 8 years...
Behold the personal area network. Enhanced with voice recognition and GPS (global positioning satellite) coordinates, call in an online search from your mobile and your dialog begins:
caller: "sushi five miles"
reply: "cheap sushi at Joes Diner, forty cents a bite"
reply: "fresh sushi at Nippon Delight, assortment of twelve pieces for thirty three dollars"
reply: "there are no more choices in your five mile personal area"
caller: "directions to Joes Diner" (pause) "message to Joes Diner two for sushi"
reply: "turn left on Third Street, go three miles to Joes Diner at the corner of Back Alley" (pause) "personal message acknowled by Joes Diner"
The receptionist, upon arrival at Joes: "Welcome Brett, your non-smoking table is set for the two of you, over there by the window, and your green tea is on it's way. Your pay pal account is open and approved for one hundred dollars. Our wireless cashier will automatically add your standard 15% gratuity to your restaurant charges upon your departure. Check your e-mail for a copy of your bill, and a discount coupon for your next visit."
Closer than you think folks!
> If you don't know where Taco Bell is in the town you've lived for 8 years...
Not necessarily. Twice recently I've needed to find businesses that are either close to me or close to a route I frequently travel. Since they are businesses I don't normally use, I've never paid attention to where they are. When I realized I needed them, I had NO idea where to find the closest ones.
I tried looking online first ... I ended up having to grab a yellow pages, a pencil and paper, and a map. What a pain.
If I could have the information delivered to me ... aaah. Now that'd be awesome.
You would have thought they'd have learned from the catastrophic failure of WAP.
The number of tourists in town at any time is minescule in comparison to the local population, and hence the number of users will also be tiny.
[edited by: SlyOldDog at 10:41 am (utc) on Jan. 30, 2005]
I was just thinking I could rig something like this up in a few days. I already have a phone connected to a PC which sends me text from unformatted web pages (I use it to send me financial reports from our database every night). A little parsing of SERPs and it would be easy.
I think there will be a lot of copycats assuming it ever goes anywhere :).
Remember how Yahoo bought Kelkoo?
I think we're seeing a move towards mobile price comparison. It'll more likely be useful in impulse buying situations where making a purchasing decision is highly time-sensitive.
Say for example you see a pair of Levi's at a discounted price for a limited time only in a mall. In this case it would be worth spending a few cents to really see how much you'd save, rather than driving to another place that might offer the same jeans.
The only problem is product identification. So long as product barcodes or manufacturer barcodes are nationally consistent, you could text the barcode number to a number, and get the cheapest recorded price for that product.
Even more interesting, I think there's a company somewhere developing software that can read barcodes from digital photos. In other words, using your camera phone, you could take a photo of the barcode - effectively "scanning" the product's barcode label, send the photo to a number and have a price check delivered in a matter of minutes!
You'd have to make the photo in secret. Most shops don't allow photography. I think they'd take to it even less kindly if they knew what you were doing.
"If I could have the information delivered to me ... aaah. Now that'd be awesome."
No matter what service, there's always someone who will use it. Remember Kozmos? Delivered movies and 7-11 stuff in under an hour. Great service...to use once a month or so when you're too comfy and are willing to pay a few extra dollars for not getting up. To be successful, enough people have to use it to justify the expenses, and eventually make a profit.