The Future of Search Will Be Visual

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The future of search will be visual because the brain thinks in picture. That’s at least the opinion of Psykosoft who have just released the new service

Illustrated difference between Google and Psykoo

Google versus Psykoo

As Internet speed and computer processing power increase, displaying results visually will become more efficient and its relevance will become more apparent

The new service will display search results visually instead of using plain text like on most popular search engines.

It aims to enhance the search experience especially for kids, elders, people with reading difficulties and for whom text is not an easy way to parse information. It is also a great search platform for mobile devices where images have more importance.

A government study showed that 21% to 23% of adult Americans were not "able to locate information in text"… and were unable to "integrate easily identifiable pieces of information." (1)

“An image is worth a thousand words,” is not an exaggeration.

Our brains are particularly efficient at processing images (The visual cortex is the largest system in the human brain). Text on the other hand requires more effort to be processed. And in order to comprehend it, first marks on paper need to get translated into language, which then get converted into meaning. This is why we can understand visual content much faster than words. That would explain the recent popularity of info graphics, which aid in making sense of a large amount of data. (whose name is a references the “oo” found in Yahoo! and Google as well as symbolizing 2 eyes) aims to take advantage of those findings to improve the search experience. The site claims that one would find what one’s looking for faster although images display slower than text.

Mathieu Gosselin, ‘Captain’ at Psykosoft adds: “Current search engines such as Google rely heavily on text, as it was the fastest way to return search results in an era where bandwidth was limited. As Internet speed and computer processing power increase, displaying results visually will become more efficient and its relevance will become more apparent.”

Instead of trying to outperform current search engines, the start-up uses popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Instagram, Flickr, Youtube to fetch results.
The value added is in the enhanced experience.

In addition also lets you use reliable search engines anonymously, which in those days of Internet-tracking and surveillance will prove a valuable tool to preserve your privacy.

Additional features offered by Psykoo that can’t be found on Google:

  • Preview website. Gives the content of a page at a glance, reducing the need to go back and forth.
  • Infinite scrolling. Browse through many websites rapidly even on smartphones and tablets.
  • Watch videos directly from the site’s video tab without changing page.
  • Larger click area makes it easier to click on the relevant link.
  • Can be set as default search engine on Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer.
  • Compare many image search services like Instagram, Tumblr, Bing, or 500px, providing different flavors and source of inspiration.
  • It looks sexy!

1.Adult Literacy in America, Third Edition (PDF), National Center for Educational Statistics, April 2002, retrieved 2011-01-12

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Mathieu Gosselin
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