Prospects of Mobile Search
Search faces (at least) two major challenges. One is to improve the efficiency of retrieving relevant content for all digital formats (images, audio, video, 3D shapes, etc). The second is to make relevant information retrievable in a range of platforms, particularly in high diffusion ones for mobiles. The two challenges are interrelated but distinct. This report aims to assess the potential of future Mobile Search. Two broad groups of search-based applications can be identified. The first group adapts and emulates web search processes and services to the mobile environment. The second is made up of services which exploit the unique features of mobile devices and mobile environments. Examples of these context-aware services include location-based services or interfacing to the internet of things (RFID networks). The report starts by providing an introduction to mobile search. It highlights differences and commonalities with search technologies on other platforms (Chapter 1). Chapter 2 is devoted to the supply side of mobile search markets. It describes mobile markets, presents key figures and gives an outline of main business models and players. Chapter 3 is dedicated to the demand side of the market. It studies users’ acceptance and demand using the results of a case study in Sweden. Chapter 4 presents emerging trends in technology and markets that could shape mobile search. This vision was partly based on an analysis of forward-looking scenarios for mobile, developed by the authors and evaluated by experts in the field (Chapter 5). Another input was a questionnaire to which 61 experts responded. Drivers, barriers and enablers for mobile search were summarised in a SWOT analysis. The report concludes with some policy recommendations in view of the likely socio-economic implications of mobile search in Europe.
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