As the number of connected devices — aka the Internet of Things, aka the sensornet — proliferates so too does the number of devices leaning on voice recognition technology as an interface to allow for hands free control.
Last fall, for instance, Amazon revealed a connected speaker with a Siri-style assistant that can perform tasks like adding items to your ecommerce shopping basket on command. Internet connected ‘smart TVs’ which let couch-potatoes channel-hop by talking at their screen, rather than mashing the buttons of a physical remote control are even more common — despite dubious utility to the user. The clear consumer electronics trajectory is for more devices with embedded ears that can hear what their owners are saying. And, behind those ears, the server-side brains to data-mine our conversations for advertising intelligence. Via techcrunch.com
Interesting concept. Now the first issue we would have to deal with is decoupling.
In public utility regulation, decoupling refers to the disassociation of a utility’s profits from its sales of the energy commodity.
This leads up to the next big question. Is Google a monopoly? No. Even with capturing over 60% of search traffic I don’t see how you can argue that it is an outright monopoly. People use Google because it works and is highly functional. The second they stop being relevant is the second you start looking for alternatives. A monopoly controls your terms of access to service or product–Google does not control the terms in which you access search. There are more than enough options out there they just currently do it best.
The Big Question
Is search an essential part of our daily life? Is it as essential as having electricity, water, and other utilities? If you were limited the ability to search does this limit your ability to what we consider in the Western world a basic need?
With the newspaper industry flailing, television revenues tanked (although are making up for it now), and music hoping Eminem some how saves the whole industry–in next 12 months we will see paywalls go up like the Great Wall of China.
Walls in China were popular, first put into practice by the Qin Dynasty started by the first emperor Qin ShiHuang where he sent scholars to work on the Great Wall (he deemed these people unproductive in normal life). The Han Dynasty took control after the Qin in 206BC who then extended the Great Wall westward through the Gobi Desert. Finally the Ming Dynasty who built the biggest, longest, strongest, and most ornate sections of the Great Wall. These are the walls we are familiar with today.
Real time search and some changes in technology is bringing on what I think is the next revolution of digital engagement. This next revolution is the convergence of the web and modern media. From radio, TV, to the internet news and content will be the same. Not only the same but content will be able to be placed in multiple platforms at a speed we could have only imagined a few years ago.
If you’ve noticed the changes in Google and other SE’s regarding adopting real time search you’ve gotten just a glimpse at what is possible. Imagine real time viewing habits from your TV. Or the convergence of radio programs that are available across devices and on demand. We are in the early stages of this with applications like IHeartRadio.