A spanking new mobile search app from Toronto-based Kickvox promises smart device users a total departure from the typical desktop experience, and necessarily so.
Search technology has been inextricably linked to the idea of a PC for more than a decade, what Kickvox is aimed at is a totally “mobile-centrism” approach to finding stuff while you are out and about.
In case you have not noticed, the ever increasing launch of mobile search applications is picking up momentum of late. That’s because of the mass migration of customers onto the mobility playing field, or should I say the movable feast for mobile marketing? Just yesterday our own Mike Wheatley covered the launch of a nice app discovery vehicle called Quixey. Then later on (while I was at the dentist having fun) Kickvox launched their iOS and Android, so called “mobile-first” approach to the smart device search equation.
Our press release from Kickvox makes use of research from Juniper Research that projects the growth of mobile search and discovery becoming a $15 billion per year market by 2017. Obviously the developers of the new search tech feel well positioned to snatch a piece of this pie too. The long and short of the Kickvox utility is reflected in their basic feature set, which includes:
- Shortcuts and Icons to streamline the search experience for users. These basically amount to what I used to term “object oriented” queried selections versus long textual results. The visual layout of Kickvox is in fact, a lot more intuitive than most search tools we’ve seen.
- Integrated Applications include Yahoo! Answers, Wikipedia, Yelp, and Rotten Tomatoes, among others. Users get to search within their favorite discovery platforms across one interface.
- Visual Categorization interjects icons (symbols) to speed and accurize the search process. Aside the need for fitting search into the smaller screen (desk space), spatially oriented images and icons CAN be far more effective in the mobile format.
- Smart Navigation makes it simple to browse through the web.
Beyond the basics, and outside the potential of image oriented navigation, the need for completely new capabilities for mobile is at the crux of Kickvox innovation. Additionally, the real value of value clicks on mobile devices demands a search mechanism of a different complexion, if for no other reason than for the sake of being new and cutting edge. But, while The Next Web’s Ken Yeung ventures toward suggesting Kickvox makes search “visually stunning” (maybe Ken read the Yahoo! Finance press release?), so far all we’ve seen are screenshots of some icons. You see, Kickvox is not available for iOS anywhere but at the US and Canadian iTunes stores. While I almost always physically test apps and most strartups, this venture into mobile search may be an exception to many rules.
While authors such as Yeung up there properly allude to the case for applications bringing us closer to a so called “semantic web”, the real meat of such devices, software, and platforms actually becoming those machined Tim Berners-Lee and his predecessors envisioned is – largely dependent on exactly what (in the case of Kickvox) is behind the aforementioned iconography. In other words, “we’ll have to see the wizard behind the curtain” before venturing to accept semantic search technology. After all, suggestion engines mimic machine learning sometimes. Stuff like “domain prediction”, without thoroughly testing said app, may or may not be a big plus.
With the appropriate reporting and questioning having been introduced, the interested readers should check out the new search tool via iTunes here, or Google Play here. Below is the Kickvox promotional video that explains a bit more about the search tool, though honestly someone other than the 60’s radio announcer doing the voice over would have been more convincing to me.