At forty.to we are working on making mobile search suck a wee bit less.

Problem:

The desktop search paradigm simply does not work well on mobile devices. There exist at least three problems when the desktop paradigm is applied to mobile search:

  • Keyboards are Small - Smartphone keyboards are too small to type swiftly and accurately.
  • Screens are Small - Smartphone screens are too small to display all but one or two blue links.
  • Link Chasing Sucks - Clicking a blue link, exploring the linked page, and, upon not finding the de-sired answer, going back to try the next blue link is, at-best, painful.

Solution:

Our solution is natural language search. We start where Siri stops. We provide a smartphone/tablet app which allows the user to ask, using their voice, a question. The app then responds, using a synthetic voice, with a direct answer. This solves all the problems above:

  • No Keyboards - The user vocally asks a question.
  • No Screens - Using voice synthesis the app replies with the answer.
  • No Link Chasing - The user’s question is answered directly.