You wouldn’t normally ask Google “How long is the line at the grocery store?”, but the search giant is conducting an experiment to find out how it can develop its service for the offline world in order to answer our every need.
MIT Technology Review‘s Tom Simonite took part in this research experiment, known as the ‘Daily Information Needs Study’, along with around 150 others. He was repeatedly asked “What did you want to know recently?” at random times, to help Google learn how it can deliver information to users that they wouldn’t usually think to search for online.
Using this experience sampling method, the company hopes to discover the kinds of “ungoogleable” info people want to find out during their day, such as the length of the line at the neighborhood grocery store. This research could take Google in a new direction, developing a way to preemptively answer questions and provide useful information for people wherever they are.