A new era has begun

Put contextual search together with the "Internet of Things" concept and the real-world applications becomes obvious. When your smart car realises a brake pad is a bit worn, it asks your GPS where you are, checks your calendar to see when you have some free time, asks the manufacturer for a workshop near you that has the part, makes an appointment and sends you a text or email with everything set up before you had any idea. Or you might just have a mechanism in the car tells the mechanic to make/print the 3d part when it detects it's beyond a certain wear point and the car is serviced when you have time before it reaches worn out threshold that would make it illegal to drive due to safety issues.


Based on how poorly designed cars are for mechanics/repair processes, I could see a future where all cars are just locally printed/manufactured and that would allow optimization of the repair/replacement process of wear and tear parts of a car... I.e. day time parking garages would have parking spots for servicing that would be done automatically ... no humans involved and no appointments necessary.


But for the brake pad example to work, a lot of proprietary systems need access to each other's APIs, and history has shown large technology companies tend to protect their own patch. As Jared Carrizales, chief executive of Heroic Search says, "Sorry to disappoint, but I don't think this capability will be available en masse on any other platform than Google."


It might take an open source platform or a platform-agnostic public system to make this future ruly seamless, but can the support base behind non-profit efforts sustain such a far-reaching infrastructure, and will governments want to compete directly with some of their biggest taxpayers?


Howard Turtle, director of the Centre for Natural Language Processing at Syracuse University, says it will take a few VHS versus Beta-style "standards wars", but even then, individual preferences will generate whole new tiers of processing. "Of course, it also raises all sorts of privacy and security issues," he adds.

So with the will and means that might already be in place, an ability to commercialise the services might be the only stumbling block to an internet that knows what you want.