I’ve been hearing a lot about Google Now for some time, and given what I understand about it, I’m not sure why everyone’s not talking about it. The only reason I can think of is
that Google hasn’t -- yet -- told people they should be talking about it. The reason I say that is because Google Now will be telling us all what to do -- very soon, if not already.
That’s the vision I’ve been hearing from some beta users, and some early adopters who say it’s a transformative experience. Actually, those were the same
words used by Google Search Advocate Joan Arensman to describe Google Now during the opening panel discussion this morning at the Search Insider Summit on Amelia Island, Florida.
Google Now, for the uninitiated, is some state-of-the-art logic Google has programmed to triangulate all the data it tracks about you and to model patterns of your past
behavior to predict what you’ll need -- and here’s the important part -- before you even know you need it.
Mobile industry consultant Josh Lovison, who is
also my nephew and was the first person to explain Google Now to me, calls it “precognitive media.” Whoa!
Well that’s pretty much the way Arensman
described it too, offering personal examples of how Google Now anticipated his information before he knew he needed it. One recent example occurred when he was preparing to drive his six-year-old
daughter to a play at a theater about one-hour away from their home.
“Before I even left, I got a message on my mobile phone that I had to leave for the play
because of traffic,” he recalls, noting that his phone -- presumably an Android version -- picked up his current address as well as the address of the theater from his Google calendar. It then
compared that with current traffic patterns and deduced that the one-hour trip would take about an hour and 15-minutes.
“That’s really a complete
change,” Arensman says, emphasizing, “No one explicitly asked” for the information, but Google Now took the initiative anyway.
In another personal
example, he noted how his phone alerted him about the results of a game he’s been following even before he knew to ask for it. “My phone knows I’m going to ask for it at some
point,” he says.
Arensman notes that these changes aren’t unique to Google, and that other platforms are incorporating logic that anticipates what you will
need before you actually need it. One example, he says, is Amazon’s Kindle, which automatically senses when you’re accessing a downloaded book via a different device and asks you if
“you want to pick up where you left off” reading the book on your original device.