Research and Development

Research has been undertaken on the Gander search engine since 2015. The application has been built and tested and it is now ready to be brought to market.

gander screens

Information happening here and now

Gander is motivated by the demand for information that is happening here and now.

Gander allows you to search for information in a rapidly changing, information rich environment.

Gander takes advantage of the environment where a growing number of people carry mobile devices.

Information Rich Environment

Our physical surroundings are becoming populated with a growing amount of digital information.

This is generated by such things as:

  • people with mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets
  • digital resources embedded in the environment such as in cars, buildings and appliances.

Gander is the first search engine designed to satisfy the demand for information that is happening here and now.

Conventional search engines are based on information retrieval techniques that help users to find information on the Internet such as documents, web pages and social feeds. With Gander, users can also search for information that is immediate and localized.

• An Internet search engine could be used to follow news and social media feeds about a popular carnival. With Gander, a user could also find available standing space near friends at the carnival.

• Using a conventional search engine one may find available train routes and timetables. With Gander, a person hurrying to board a crowded train would be able to search for the closest available second class seat.

• A person planning a trip to a zoo would use a standard search engine to find information such as the opening hours and the directions. With Gander, visitors to the zoo would be able to know which exhibits have the shortest waits right now or where their friends are.

• With Google you could search for the location of food stalls. With Gander you can search for the location of food stalls with the shortest queues right now.

These situations require that searches give information about what is happening immediately. Information is collected directly from the environment.

Gander research carried out by the University of Texas provides the technology for spatiotemporal searches of the here and now, in the here and now.

Gander takes advantage of the environment where a growing number of people carry mobile devices. These can form opportunistic peer-to-peer connections to each other and to surrounding digital resources. Gander is made possible by advances in wireless technology and a deeper understanding of the importance of social networks.

• A key feature of Gander is a sense of spatiotemporal locality, a sense of space and time, and the perception that the world is changing rapidly around us. It is knowing what is happening right now which is of the essence.

• A conventional search engine such as Google helps one learn about the world by treating the Internet as a large (mostly static) library dedicated to rapid access to relevant information. Huge resources are mobilized to support such an undertaking.

In contrast, Gander search technology facilitates immediate interactions with one's surroundings without requiring massive support infrastructure and sophisticated advance indexing.

In Google one might ask for an aerial photo of a forest fire, which may be acceptable even if several hours old. However if running away from the fire you would need to know the relation between fire and wind in your immediate vicinity.

Gander offers more than Google

Gander could provide the same search capabilities offered by Google without reliance on Internet connectivity and server support.

Gander search capabilities can be made in settings other than the Internet. There are situations in which access to the Internet is simply unnecessary.

A home is managed better by exploiting local wireless connectivity rather than the Internet. A system for monitoring the safety a building during a fire would be better designed around a wireless network than the Internet. It could immediately connect occupants with the information from sensors on each floor.

In a classroom setting, providing information on the progress of students doing particular tasks or assignments is feasible via the Internet. However it may not be desirable to use the Internet because this information is stored and may accessed by unauthorised persons.

Gander is not only able to deliver effective search capabilities without the need for an expensive server infrastructure, it can also provide new approaches to searching in the Internet.

The future of Search Engines

Major new intellectual developments are often associated with the introduction of a different design or usage paradigm or a critical shift in fundamental assumptions. Gander research starts by considering a radically new set of assumptions for an existing problem area: searching across a network.

These include distributed query processing protocols that deliver the most relevant data without imposing a significant networking burden. Query processing strategies that allow results from one query to shape the nature and parameters of the next, leading to the creation of a goal-centered, and self-adaptive query sequence.

Mechanisms that enable the end user to specify what information is most relevant, why, and when, supported by distributed, collaborative, and low-cost strategies.

Gander search engine technology using information from Personalised Networking Spaces will become as critical to our economy and social life as Google is today. It may serve different purposes and have a different interaction style than conventional search engines, but will satisfy the same fundamental need to discover information.