Web searching for Daily living – and lolz

Query free search – I’ve been ROFL-ing ever since I read about this in the first two pages of a research paper. I did not go beyond that. My imagination ran so wild that – I got lost in that wilderness to proceed further. Let me tell you a few examples mentioned there and you know why I am saying that.

“When we are washing a coffee maker, for example, a web page is retrieved that includes tips such as ‘cleaning a coffee maker with vinegar removes stains well.’ A method designed on the basis of this concept automatically searches for a web page by using a query constructed from the use of ordinary household objects that is detected by sensors attached to the objects.”

-These lines from the abstract say enough about what this paper is about. Now that its possible to make anything from a domestic appliance or a furniture item to a Television turn in to our internet enabled browser, we can get search results despite the absence of a “real” querying, according to the paper.

“To search the web by using objects, we assume that a set of names of objects that are used (moved) by a user in a given period of time corresponds to user’s context. For example, when a cup, milk, and cocoa are moved in a given period of time, “cup milk cocoa” becomes the user’s context. Then, we search for a web page that matches the context.”

Reading these, I began getting doubts, as usual.
Firstly, it appears to be a dangerous intrusion in to my privacy. What if someone comes and attaches some sensor to some random object of mine? How embarassing it would be to suddenly see search results on the nearby sofa, on something that you can’t imagine to see at the moment?
Secondly, Who asked for it? I don’t want to search for milk and cocoa when I drink milk with cocoa. I may not want to think about more details on the topic at all.

My doubt is : Instead of going to this extent, why cant “voice based search” be improved upon? Instead of attaching sensors for each and every article, why can’t a sensor be attached to our own self, and perform a voice based search and then display the results?

Finally – its highly comical to imagine all these happen in “daily living”. It’ll be good to see a sci-fi comedy thriller with all these ingredients 🙂 Ofcourse, with some creativity and some sense of history,I can see a historical sci-fi comedy thriller in making already. A “psycho sci-fi comedy historical thriller” (or with the order changed) or a “all-this-blah” + political thriller – may be on the cards in future..who knows?

The title of this paper – “Web searching for daily living” is a misnomer. I thought it talks about money generation through web search. Ideally, like a friend suggested, it should be – “Web searching intruding in to daily living”.

Details of the paper: Web Searching for Daily Living Takuya Maekawa (NTT ), Yutaka Yanagisawa , Yasushi Sakurai , Yasue Kishino , Koji Kamei , Takeshi Okadome (NTT) In proceedings of SIGIR-2009

Published in: on August 21, 2009 at 9:53 am  Leave a Comment  

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