After handing over its core search results to Bing in the summer of 2010, Yahoo promised that it would continue to try new things related to its search interface.
One of those new ideas is a feature that would let Yahoo users begin a search on one device — a desktop computer, for example — and continue to use/interact with the search on a different device, like a tablet or laptop computer.
In an interview with MediaPost, Shashi Seth, Yahoo’s Senior VP of Search and Marketplaces, explains this search-across-devices idea. Here’s how MediaPost describes it:
Yahoo has begun to test the ability to start a query on one device and continue it on another. For example, searching for a local restaurant on a desktop PC, finding a location and saving the search to continue it on a mobile device, such as iPad or smartphone.
Signing into a Yahoo ID account allows the engine to connect searches on smartphones to tablets, desktops and laptops. Searchers will not only benefit from being able to save queries and continue them on another device, but advertisers will have an option to target ads across devices. Seth said Yahoo could release the tool within the next few months.
How innovative and useful this is will obviously lie in the details. You could argue that something like Google’s saved search history already allows you to search on one device and then resume/continue the search on another device. But I suspect Yahoo has something different in mind than that sort of blunt instrument approach that only involves saving and repeating a search on different devices.
Seth hinted at this search across devices idea in a Yahoo blog post in January, too, saying that “search engines must act as a companion across all devices, not just a destination experience.”