A new patent has recently been granted to Google which conceptualizes real-time, online voting. The example used in its graphic portrays a made-up reality TV show called ‘Top American Singer’, and shows how you would only need to click on a contestant’s image to vote. No calling or texting a premium rate number required.
In the patent, it’s clear Google is imagining this would be used for things like reality shows where contestants get voted off. It would be ideal for shows like American Idol, although there is potential here that it could be used for more consequential events like a political leadership campaign.
As you’d expect from any Google Search based interface, the web page would also show news and content related to the campaign.
While it may not launch the concept as an official product, Google has long been experimenting with real-time election tracking. During the recent US political campaigns, Google’s search tool has been updating with poll results during debates.
In an age where everything appears to be heading towards being internet-based, it’s hard to imagine a future without online voting for the next state senator, US President or UK Prime Minister. Whether or not it’ll be as open and insecure as a simple Google vote is debatable. That would of course need to be a highly encrypted bespoke application, rather than a Google Search interface. But, for TV shows, the Google solution seems promising.