If you're in the market for a 15-inch laptop, there are plenty of publications and gadget blogs eager to assist you with your choice. But soon, Wolfram Alpha hopes to make the selection process as easy as typing in a search box.
And then, once that's done, Wolfram hopes to connect all of the world's gadgets up and see what kind of data emerges. No big deal, right?
If you think this sort of ambitious project sounds a bit Google-y, you'd be forgiven. This is the kind of "moonshot" that one normally associates with the self-driving car and Google Glass. But for Steven Wolfram, who took a degree in particle physics from Cal Tech at age 20, these are the kind of semi-obscure, aspirational projects that mean the most. Wolfram Alpha has always been a quiet player in search, simply providing answers to questions rather than selling ads.