In late 2011, Wolfram∣Alpha launched a real-time tracking feature that first pinpoints your location and then provides details on planes flying overhead (Figure 10.15). Seem futuristic? Maybe, until you use the Plane Finder AR app for iPhone and iPad2.35 Just open the app, point your device at a plane, and see real-time information about the flight (Figure 10.16).

Figure 10.15 Wolfram∣Alpha “Flights Overhead” Search

Source: Wolfram∣Alpha


Figure 10.16 Plane Finder AR

Source: Pinkfroot


Want to know what star you’re looking at in the sky? That query might be tough to type into a search engine, but all you need to do is point your iPhone at the sky and the Star Walk app36 will tell you exactly what you’re looking at.

Want to do a search for how to say “where’s the bathroom” in Spanish next time you’re vacationing on the Mexican Riviera? Just speak the words in English into your phone, and the Spanish translation will be spoken right back to you with Google’s translation app.37

In the near future, we will continue to use text-based search engines such as Google and Bing, and both engines will continue to evolve their displays to be richer. But the future of search is wide open, and we’ve really only just begun.

In late 2007, a number of search experts and search engine ...

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