Google Now has evolved into a surprisingly great contextual search and information system, but it still relies on user information for most of its content. According to a recent interview with Google's VP of search and assist Johanna Wright, that may be changing. QZ.com spoke to Wright, who let a few details on the possible addition of a local news card for Now.

One thing we’re testing right now is a very local hyper-local news card,” says Wright. “Which is really useful—it teaches me things about my neighborhood. For example, I found out Miss Mexico came to my son’s school, I saw that [the local] Chipotle was giving out burritos, and someone was stabbed in the park near my house. It’s very, very targeted to you and your interests.

According to the report, this "local card" is in the very early stages of development, describes as an experimental version that's only being tested internally. But given that Google has been trying to incorporate local search and contextual info into major products like Google+ and Maps, to say nothing of the location-based projects Field Trip and Ingress, it's safe to say that the company really wants this to happen.

Google's somewhat nebulous News service would be a particularly good match for a hyper-local Now card. Sifting through an entire Internet's worth of news for things that are relevant to your area is tricky, and a card that pops up and says "construction planned for your route to work" would be awesome. As a bonus, you wouldn't have to sit through the fluff pieces on the local TV news.

There's no word on when, or indeed if, a localized Now card will make it to end-users on Android.

Source: QZ.com

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Justin Dybedahl

    First... I would love to test this for myself. :-)

  • Justin Dybedahl

    First.. would love to test this for myself. It's a great idea.

  • Alex

    Awesome. Need to know when to look out for knife wielding crack fiends

    • hp420

      There was a drunk guy walking down the street in front of my house last night while taking a leak. Maybe it could warn me when he's coming back so next time the whole neighborhood can come outside and yell at him!!

      • fixxmyhead

        Man who hasn't done that

  • Matthew Fry

    Can't wait to hear about awful things happening near my house.

  • hp420

    "As a bonus, you wouldn't have to sit through the fluff pieces on the local TV news."

    ....and this is why Ted Turner will do everything in his power to prevent this from ever coming to fruition. The last thing someone in his position will want is for people to have yet another reason to go online, rather than turn on their TV.

    Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great idea, and I would love to have the capability to use it...I just see too many obstacles in the way for it to see the light of day.

    • Ryan O’Neill

      How would he be able to do anything about it? Google does what it wants!

      • hp420

        ...and Ted Turner doesn't, huh?? lol

  • Rob

    Construction updates, road closures, detours. Notifications of this caliber would be awesome. Connect it to Maps/Navigation for alternate routes and that's a WIN-WIN.

  • Herman

    I really, really hope Google doesn't keep this US-only.