While reading the collections of mobile 2012 predictions is a great way to gain perspective, I miss deep analysis of these trends that allows us to plan and prepare for the developments likely to impact models and strategies far beyond 2012.
Understanding this gap — and the need to collaborate with many mobile authorities, rather than leave such a work to a single writer — GigaOM PRO has published a new report that provides us a valuable roadmap to navigate mobile for the months (and years!) ahead. I contributed the section on the future of mobile search, which I will explore later down in this post.
First, more about GigaOM PRO. The research arm of GigaOM, GigaOM PRO was created to address the gap that exists in real-time expert industry analysis on emerging technology markets. And it is doing an impressive job, by making high-quality expert reports, data and commentary easy to access and highly interactive for our community in key emerging technology areas.
For this reason, I used the latest segment of the new vodcast — m-pulse — to raise a goblet of rock to the resource that uniquely gives us a collaborative view of the trends to watch and the results to expect.
Mobile search landscape
My contribution to this mobile anthology is the section on mobile search and the evolution of what I call ‘zero-search’ (using implicit inputs or statistical models to present users with results they are likely to appreciate as opposed to key words or other inputs). In key word search, Google own the market. But —I argue —it’s unlikely that the search giant will continue to dominate in the future.
Competition in mobile search is on the rise. And we can expect more companies to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), personalization and the social graph to deliver users more precise search results suited to the mobile platform — in some cases even before we explicitly request them.
As I further point out in the section, the door is wide open for companies with social in their DNA to win with approaches that infuse human preferences and judgments into computer algorithms to pinpoint truly relevant information and better answers.
Another hot area in mobile search is apps. As we know, there are tens of thousands of applications on most application stores, and driving awareness is costly for developers and brands. App search is currently dominated by classic keyword search and “find similar” solutions that rely on social graphs and statistics. However, there are several new players (Chomp, Do@, findahh) with new approaches that are gaining traction.
Precision search needed
The verticalization of mobile search will likely accelerate as we become more sophisticated in our use of mobile devices and tablets to access and search the Internet. And with this development will come an increased user requirement for what I call “precision search.”
Why? Because while devices will likely pack more computing power, they will keep roughly the same size displays, screens are not suited to reams of results (and neither is our patience). Additionally, the huge growth in data, the failure of filters and the lack of machine readable metadata will persist, creating a need for search that can focus on a specific query and deliver genuinely relevant and useful results.
Against this backdrop, how will mobile search evolve in the next years? What services will it enable? And what will our experience be?
I map out the future of mobile search innovation (enabled by a new breed of vertical search engines and apps) as follows:
Who are the companies to watch in 2012 and beyond? What services and strategies will move mobile search a huge step forward? I encourage you to download GigaOM PRO’s segment by segment analysis by clicking the box below.
Interestingly, a string of recent market developments (eBay snapping up recommendation engine Hunch, Siri redefining what we except from mobile ‘smart’ assistants and CNN tapping Zite to deliver truly personal and personalized news) support my conclusions and make this report a must-read anthology.
Mobile search profile series
It’s been busy times at MobileGroove and the focus in 2012 is on expansion at all levels and across all media.
Takeaways (and companies) from this report will also be covered in my soon-to-launch weekly live radio show. In addition, the new m-pulse vodast series with Rob Woodbridge and UNTETHER.tv will dedicate a month to analyzing mobile search innovation from a variety of perspectives (vendor, brand, innovator, aggregator). And our esteemed colleague and industry veteran Charles Knight will be back with his series of interviews and road tests.
In February I will also profile some of THE companies to watch in this exciting space, beginning with Expertmaker. This European-based has come out of stealth mode to equip developers and companies with tools and APIs, allowing the easy creation of a plethora of precision search services and apps. Look for recommenders, interactive shopping assistants and more. Expertmaker also powers the smart shopping assistant already on offer via a major commerce giant. Martin Rugfelt, Expertmaker CMO, and I will discuss the company’s progress (which also further validates the overall trend to mobile search verticalization).
Topics covered in this report include :
TAPPING THE TABLET MARKET’S FULL POTENTIAL –BY COLIN GIBBS
MOBILE SERVICES: THE NEXT FRONTIER INWIRELESS –BY GERRY PURDY, PH.D.
CONNECTED DEVICES: OPPORTUNITES FOR THE INTERNET OF THINGS –BY LAURIE LAMBERTH
THE FUTURE OF MOBILEHEALTH, 2011–2016 –BY JODY RANCK, DRPH
HOW SOCIAL-LOCATION-MOBILE (SOLOMO) IS TRANSFORMING E-COMMERCE –BY DR. PHIL HENDRIX,PH.D., AND ERIC
THE NEW BREED OF MOBILE SEARCH ENGINES –BY PEGGY ANNE
MAKE ME AN OFFER: HYPERLOCAL TARGETING IN MOBILE –BY GREG STERLING
MOBILE PAYMENTS: THE NEXT IMPORTANT GROWTH IN THE MOBILE MARKET–BY PETER CROCKER
THE FUTURE OF MOBILEADVERTISING, 2011–2016 –BY NEIL STROTHER
A MOBILE VOIP AND CHAT OUTLOOK –BY PIM BILDERBEEK
SOLUTIONS FOR A NEW AGE OF WIRELESS MOBILE BACKHAUL –BY MONICA PAOLINI