The Bangalore chapter of Mobile Monday, better known as MoMo, ushered in its second year with a discussion on an extremely hot topic—mobile search. And we had the pleasure of a nearly full house. Seventy-five of the 80 who registered for the event turned up. The star attraction was Zook, an SMS and GPRS-based mobile search engine, which was unveiled by Ajay Sethi, founder and chief executive officer of Bangalore-based start-up Ziva Software Pvt. Ltd.
We ran a quick show-of-hands poll in the audience on the preference for mobile search via voice, SMS and GPRS. Voice topped the poll with 45 votes while SMS and GPRS got five and 15, respectively. Zook plans to offer voice-based services shortly.
More on Zook. It delivers precise results to users by understanding the context of the query.
So when the query cannot be inferred precisely, the mobile search engine uses its patent-pending Q&A technique to engage the user in an interactive conversation. This helps the user to refine his/her query and find exactly what he/she is looking for.
To use the service via SMS, you have to send an SMS to 3030 with keyword ‘zook’ or ‘z’ and your <QUERY>. GPRS users can visit http://zook.in
The session also saw interesting debates around privacy concerns in social software, business models for mobile search and its unique challenges compared to the Web world.
The event started at 7pm and went on till 8.30pm. After that a few passionate MoMo-ites headed to nearby Geoffrey’s pub to continue into a more spirited discussion.
Thiyagarajan M. is a co-founder of Motvik, www.motvik.com, which is a Bangalore-based mobile services start-up. He is also one of the founders of MoMo Bangalore, which pioneered such events (a take-off on global MoMo meets in the US) in June 2006. MoMo meets are now held across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and explore emerging ideas and technologies in the high-interest mobile space. Find out more at www.bangalore.mobilemonday.in
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