Richard Hagerty’s article, Mobile Search Is Almost Too Good To Be True, is a good reminder to those who might have forgotten that “Local” Search can be determined by proximity to any given “object”, including the Searcher herself, including when she’s mobile.
Digitally navigating our physical environment (in a more complete sense) is a big next step; certainly we’ve been incrementing toward it for a long time.
The next leap, in my mind, is Social Mobile Local Search; interacting with people or places based (in part) on our digital identity/profile (including our social network). Duane Wilson, founder of Totalmass (disclosure: who I know from Ofoto), has been working on a vision he and I share for a several years now. Duane’s focus is on Social Mobile, based on Social Agents.
This was a long way off back when Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash was out, and is now just creeping onto the radar. While I think there are broad applications for this technology, where we just might see it first is in schools, at malls, etc, wherever kids might be able to form ad-hoc mobile gaming networks for head-to-head and group play.
Mobile search is not only fueling improvements in location based search, as you mention, but in fact shifting the nature in which search itself is performed. A full discussion of this shift can be found here.
Mike, completely agreed (read yours and enjoyed it). Every post has a focus after all. 😉
Give Crosby and JodyB my best if you run across them @ QuinnStreet.