‘Point and Search’ in Japan

The NY Times’ (reg. req’d) John Markoff writes about GeoVector’s “point and search” technology now in use in Japan. It was introduced in January of this year and, I gather from the article, gaining usage. Here’s my write up on the Search Engine Watch Blog from May and here’s an update from today:

Beyond the intriguing possibilities of tying together the mobile and physical worlds, there are two things that are quite interesting about the technology and use case: 1) it accommodates the current limitations of cellphones and 2) it’s more “passive” than other forms of mobile local search. In other words, the input mechanism is more like taking a picture than “triple tapping.”

There’s a natural advertising model here too that marries the user location with a “search mentality.” When a user is searching online, he or she is seeking information about a product or service. As they say in the yellow pages industry, there’s a “ready to buy” mindset – or at least potentially ready to buy. (As we know, search engine users typically don’t buy in the same session.) But mobile users looking for a place to eat are probably “ready to eat.”

This is a technology to watch because it’s very different from SMS or the “mobile Internet.” It has the potential ease of use of directory assistance (when that’s working). Hopefully we’ll get to see it in operation in the US in the near future.


Vaguely related: Cellfire expands its mobile coupon program. Here’s more from TechCrunch.


One Response to “‘Point and Search’ in Japan”

  1. Search Engine Journal » iPointer Mobile ‘Point and Search’ Technology Says:

    […] Shortly after I started writing about “point and search” technology from GeoVector, I was contacted by Jerry King the COO of Intelligent Spatial Technologies. His company has similar visual point and search product for mobile devices called iPointer. […]

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