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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) began offering on Thursday a new tool that allows users of its local search service to send restaurant or business information in the form of a text message from a computer to a mobile phone.
Yahoo said its new service is available across all the major wireless carriers at no charge for consumers. However, wireless carriers may charge fees for receiving text messages on a mobile handset.
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.
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...
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.
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?
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.
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 :)
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.
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...
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!
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.
I think there will be a lot of copycats assuming it ever goes anywhere :).
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!
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.