We are about to enter a new era of apps. For those of you who are spooked by Big Brother watching you, get ready for apps that will be anticipating your every need. Why should the rich have all the fun?
Behind closed doors, a growing number of startups as well as giant Google are working on the newest advancement called “predictive search.” Simply put, the new technology will be anticipating what you need before you even think of it.
Imagine that you have a dinner date with a friend who lives fifteen miles away. Unbeknownst to you, the traffic is building up on the highway you need to take to get to your destination. All of a sudden, an alert on your cell phone tells you about the traffic jam even though know one knows about the appointment, not even your personal calendar.
The alert didn’t suddenly appear because of magic. New software is being developed that tracks your every move. Okay, here is the scary part. The apps will be reading your emails, scanning your calendar, and tracking your location, all while checking traffic patterns to figure out if you need extra time to drive to your next appointment.
A lot of the predictions are determined by scouring services you already have such as previous calendar entries, emails, social network activity, purchases, and cell phone tracking.
Google Now, which is available on Android and iOS, features predictive search. Users are alerted about dinner reservations, weather, and shopping for food and clothes, all depending on your location. Google Now also offers book, movie, and music recommendations.
Within a few years, the medical and financial world will be the leaders in this area of technology. I can see it now. “Lois, you spent enough for the week” or “Lois, you ate enough today.” I wonder if I will listen. Only time will tell.