WASHINGTON, December 6, 2012 Kickvox, the company that has reengineered mobile search, this week announced the launch of its application for iOS and Android mobile platforms.
It’s cause for excitement. Mobile search has been in need of a makeover, possessing the panache and usefulness of Microsoft’s Clippy. Remember how helpful he was? “It looks like you are trying to finish your resume. Would you like me to include a picture of your legs at the beach?”
The best ideas don’t have to be complicated. The first-of-its-kind application, Kickvox, provides users with a visual, integrated and categorized search experience that is designed exclusively for mobile devices. The result: faster searching, browsing and navigation that provides users with the information they need at their fingertips.
“Mobile search is broken. The search industry is conceivably the only industry that looks virtually the same as it did a decade ago, yet the platforms that we use to search the web have changed significantly,” said Alan Nowogrodski, co-founder and CEO of Kickvox. “Mobile users don’t want a laundry list of sites and cluttered text they need to squint in order to read; they want visually rich content that makes it easy to pinpoint what they need and move on.”
According to Juniper Research, mobile search and discovery will continue to grow into a $15 billion per year market by 2017. Kickvox, still in beta, is perfectly positioned to capitalize on this market opportunity with its intuitive interface that is designed for smaller screens and often awkward keyboards.
Nowogrodski lays out the problem, the solution and why the measure of a great app is one you can’t live without - can’t remove from your day-to-day.
What problems currently exist with search via mobile devices?
1. The medium that we use to search has dramatically changed from big screen to small phone. The awkward keyboard - Users type shorter queries that are more ambiguous. The small screen - Requires lots of scrolling as fewer results fit in one page. Slow speed - It is inefficient and bothersome to search
2. The location in which we search has changed from an office/house to searching while on the bus, at a store and even walking down the street.
3. Our expectations/needs of search have changed. We want answers fast, we don’t want to read large blocks of text and we usually know which sources of information we trust and want.
If the medium evolves, the behavior evolves, and our expectations evolve, it is only natural for mobile search to evolve.
What are the advantages of a search engine built for mobile?
1. Shortcuts (or icons) allow users to find the website they are looking for without having to read a single word.
2. Visual categorization technology provides users with icons next to search results so users can quickly find the right page.
3. Search engines have traditionally offered links to answers. Kickvox partners with companies such as Yelp, Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers and many more to bring users instant answers from their favorite apps. Instead of opening dozens of apps, users can access all of it with one search box.
4. Kickvox completely changes the way users navigate across search results. With one simple click, users can jump to the next search result thereby saving time and numerous steps.
How did your previous experience with mobile motivate you to start Kickvox?
After working in mobile, I developed a true love/hate relationship with the space. I had experienced both the highs and lows of the industry, the great potential and the harsh reality. I learned what it takes to develop a winning product but most importantly, how to differentiate between a great idea and a great business opportunity. The growth of mobile search, the lack of innovation from major players, the changing user behavior and the absence of startups to fill that void ignited a fire in the entrepreneur in me (one I have been nurturing since the age of 17 with my first business importing/exporting products from Asia and South America).
What is your favorite app, other than yours?
To me, the definition of a great app is something that if you take it away, I can’t live without. That to me has been the Dropbox app. Flipboard is a close second.
Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. Co-Founder of Status Creative, 2011 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and record holder for Most Strikeouts in Tee-Ball.
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