Were you engrossed by the multicolored bouncing balls on Google’s home page yesterday? Well, it wasn’t just a really easy game. The interactive graphic was a promotion for Google Instant, Google’s new search engine innovation that was premiered at Google’s press event today.
Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products & User Experience described Google Instant as “search before you type,” and announced that the feature was implemented on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and IE today. Here’s the official blog post.
Go check it out. Search results actually appear as you type, supposedly saving two to five seconds per search. The search engine also predicts what you were going to type and runs a search result on that. That’s right. Google search is now so smart that not only can it can actually read your mind, it’ll also hit the enter button for you. It’s like the technological realization of an old Google April Fool’s Joke, MentalPlex, the search engine that reads your mind.
The search feature is fairly responsive, and does speed up certain searches. For example, type “w” and you’ll get the weather in your area. Type “d” and the website for the nearest DMV office shows up. The main difference is that now, instead of making individual queries and receiving answers, information seems to just flow from under your fingertips.
It’s cool, but I think I’ll end up disabling it. I think Google search is already pretty instant – I don’t know about you guys, but it takes me about a millisecond to hit the enter key. But, as with the initially panned and now widely used Gmail, Gtalk, and Google Docs, Google is probably right and I am wrong. What do you think, Popwatchers? Do you need Instant Search?