Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer talked about a new search related product that the company is working on during the first quarter earnings call. Mayer said that this will be a product similar to Siri, Google Now or Microsoft’s Cortana. Though she didn’t provide specifics a report does bring us some additional information citing a source at Yahoo who is familiar about this product. The new product is codenamed Index.
Index will be a smartphone app which will easily allow users to find what they’re looking for from things like email. The app will be able to mine information from users’ email inboxes to surface that information, like Google Now does for package deliveries, boarding passes etc.
During the earnings call Mayer said that with this product Yahoo wants to help people “make better sense of the content they already have access to, content in their mail.”
She gave an example about a user who booked a flight from JFK Airport. If that user were to search for JFK the app would surface practical data and the boarding pass if the user has been emailing about the flight, instead of bringing up a Wikipedia entry for the president first.
Helping people find such information that might be buried underneath hundreds of emails is an essential feature of a virtual private assistant to have. Yahoo has another thing going for itself.
Gmail users have had their accounts for merely a decade while Yahoo has many accounts that date back 20 years. Back then people used to email things to themselves to store them. The possibility of that content being surfaced easily “is exciting,” according to the scribe’s source.
Mayer has reportedly set a company-wide goal to have a pilot version of the Index app ready during the second quarter.