Using keywords to locate documents can be a frustrating process — more often than not the searcher ends up with far too many files, or none at all. Even if a keyword search yields a likely list of documents, the chance of discerning the right one from its title alone can be slim, especially if the author is someone else. Now, a plugin called Peruse is giving the process of locating files a much needed makeover, by implementing a more ‘human’ approach.
Peruse uses natural language to conduct its file searches. Users search with descriptions and phrases that occur instinctively, such as ‘PowerPoints I sent to George’ or ‘PDFs over five pages long.’ For the first time, search software has been adapted to suit actual human organizational techniques rather than the other way around. The creators of Peruse intend to develop their product further still to enable users to search for specific facts within documents — concentrating initially on spreadsheets — though this feature has yet to be integrated. The platform works by plugging into the user’s cloud storage. Currently the software is compatible with Box and Dropbox, and there are plans to integrate with further services.
We have seen a number of other products — such as Didlog — which are helping to streamline information exchange within businesses. How else could tech be used to reduce the amount of time workers spend searching for information?