Google has filed a patent for providing a medium for users to search and participate in an online voting campaign. This technology uses a voting user interface (Vui) as the medium for the users to "submit one or more votes in a voting-based campaign" and fetch social media content related to the campaign during the voting process.
The patent "Social voting-based campaigns in search" submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office could be useful for voting contests, such as reality shows like Big Brother, American Idol or a local body voting. It could be a boon for the shows and organisations conducting votes, as it eases the process and encourages more and more users to participate in the voting.
As described in the patent application, this technology can brings real-time data about the voting and the nominations using a search query. It includes cross-referencing the search with the user-specific index, identifying the social networking profiles, news, pictures or any data associated with the contestants and taking input vote for a particular candidate right from the search results.
Google elaborated the use case of the patented technology with the example of a singing contest, "Top American Singer". Using this technology, any viewer who is searching for the show online can vote right from the search engine. When a viewer tries Google's Vui to vote for his/her favorite singer, the system will first identify the audience and match his/her profile with the voting norms like age, location, etc. before accepting the vote.
Google filed its patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office on 30 December 2013. At present, the California-based internet major is leveraging on a dedicated search through "Cards" for the upcoming US presidential election 2016, however, it might extend its newly patented technology from entertainment to politics as well.