In our previous post, we discussed how search is no longer confined to your desk or to your pocket. How we use search today is largely dictated by the devices we have access to and how we use them. Statista forecasts the number of Internet of Things devices will grow to almost 31 billion worldwide by 2020. This means that consumers will expect more ways to interact with and search on these devices seamlessly.
As we enter an era where smart devices will be all around us, we need to be prepared for the future of search that will be pervasive—i.e. instead of searching for something, these smart devices will always be on; they’ll be constantly learning about your habits and needs to ensure you have the best experience possible.
For instance, you may be driving your car trying to find a bakery or you may be in a meeting room attempting to make a presentation; no matter where you are, search intelligence will be available to you, making surrounding objects smarter and more useful to you.
Now that smart devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home are in living homes and kitchens across the globe, the pervasiveness of search is a real development in the not-so-distant future. Over time, such devices will become more capable. You will soon be able to search across the room by shouting your query, “Alexa, how long will it take to get to the airport?”
Not only will search be personal and pervasive, it’ll also be predictive. Though predictive search capabilities have been available for a long time (think about those suggestions you get to help you complete a search query), they’ve now become an integral component of our internet interactions. Predictive search enables you to find results quicker, and get answers to questions you didn’t even know you had. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are instrumental in enhancing predictive search capabilities.
As predictive search develops more capabilities, assistants like Cortana will become better equipped to deliver relevant and personalized information about either your flight itinerary or your morning commute without you even asking or searching.
The foundation of search will thus rest on the three Ps: personal, pervasive and predictive, and will also have to incorporate privacy as the fourth P. Search is truly evolving to be a rich ecosystem of conversations between people, between people and their digital assistants, and between assistants and bots. That’s the world we need to be prepared for.