'Point and Search' Redux

After my most recent post on "point and search" mobile technology, prompted by last week's NY Times' article on GeoVector's efforts in Japan, Search Engine Watch alum (now Director of Online Information Resources at Ask) Gary Price directed me to a number of his earlier posts on mobile search using camera phones. In this post he discusses Google's voice search patent, "point and search" mobile technology from Microsoft and several-other camera phone search tools.

Last week, when I was out, I was also contacted by representatives of Intelligent Spatial Technologies Inc., who pointed out (pun intended) that they also have a mobile local search technology based on pointing. The company claims in its press release it's more versatile than GeoVector's offering in Japan.

There are several use cases (or, if you prefer, "modalities") now developing in the mobile search world: SMS, free ad supported directory assistance, automated voice-driven mobile search, the wireless web and the perhaps more provocative "point and search." Because of the multiplicity user scenarios, some or all of these models may co-exist for awhile. (It's likely that we'll also see blending of models and technologies.)

I believe, however, that a couple of models/user experiences will emerge as superior, drive more adoption and come to dominate the space. Those models will attract ad dollars accordingly. It's too early to pick winners yet.