According to a patent originally filed in Q3 2011 and published by the United States Patent & Trademark Office earlier this month (via PatentlyApple), Google invented a new search gesture for future Android devices that incorporates various forms of the letter “g”.
As described by PatentlyApple, the gesture would allow users to circle what they want to search for within the letter “g” or “g + o” (as shown in the graphic above), and perform the search when lifting their finger. Google would not limit the feature to just Google searches, however, it would also allow you to access alternatives by drawing an “S”.
The patent application described different embodiments of the concept incorporating use of the various letters combine with a continuous circling motion (pictured below). For example, the user could circle various pieces of content or text in one motion, bypassing the need to copy-and-paste several items separately. Instead of simply performing a search once lifting your finger, the feature could also first present a list of context-sensitive options such as phone numbers, dictionary entries, or links to a Wikipedia article—for instance. PatentlyApple explained how Google could allow other companies to take advantage going forward:
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If you follow Google’s logic, then it could very translate into allowing users or companies to create their own letter combinations to signify a specific search engine related to their industry or profession. Meaning instead of drawing in “G + O” to use Google’s search engine, a lawyer could draw in the letter combination such as “L + O” and have that combination translate into a search in LexisNexis. That could open up some interesting possibilities going forward.