Saturday, May 28, 2011

Immersion search and browsing

The landscape is littered with dead bodies, but is it not time for someone to take another shot at a richer search and browsing experience?  Exploration of new topics via search (movies, music, art, science, travel, sports, and even shopping) is often as much about the journey as the destination.  I'd love to be able to navigate a visual array like the Safari Top Sites display that would tile Wiki's, stack videos, and other pertinent sites for me to rapidly explore a single search term.  Google has emphasized speed and simplicity (I suggest that you read In The Plexif you have not already done so) and delivered a highly efficient but sterile solution.

Instead of trying to compete with Google in search (SeachMe, Viewzi, Grokker failed for many reasons), possibly the immersion experience comes from an application, maybe a browser plug-in, or an app like FlipBoard, that leverages the power of Google search API and the steadily ramping network and processor bandwidth.  Search-Cube heads in the right direction, but it is ugly and inefficient; wouldn't you always want the Wiki page, video stack, etc. in the same spot on the screen every time so you wouldn't need to visually decipher or manipulate the presentation?

Apple does a fine job at user interfaces and could leverage the building blocks inherent in Safari, but I cannot imagine them investing in a utility that has Google search as its underlying technology.  Beyond a brilliant 2D search environment, I look forward to the day we have a true immersion search, browsing and computing interface.  Take a good look at Oblong Industries if you want a glimpse of the future.

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