Search and discover

01.07.2015 Metadrift : Wai-Cheun Cheung : Royal College Of Art
Metadrift by Wai-Chuen Cheung, London

London – A new search engine explores a world in which serendipity is valued over efficiency.

  • Metadrift enables users to wander within search terms
  • ‘The problem with conventional search engines is that they only show us what we’re already looking for, or expecting to find,’ says creator Wai-Chuen Cheung

Google is a modern marvel, but it has its limits. Like all search engines, it is good at giving you what you want, but bad at telling you what you need. How do you find something you didn’t know you were looking for? That is the question Royal College of Art student Wai-Cheun Cheung posed for his course in Innovation Design Engineering. The answer is Metadrift, a search engine that uses 3D visualisation to enable users to ‘get lost’ within a landscape of embodied information.

‘We are in need of new tools and environments to explore on the internet – ones that don’t constrain us to algorithmically selected destinations and instead allow us to find our own path through digital space,’ says Cheung, who hopes to turn his prototype into a widely used tool.

The Big Picture: For all their achievements, none of the digital mega-systems have managed to replicate the experience of browsing in a store. To understand why, read our opinion column by Enders Analysis CEO Douglas McCabe.

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