Google is currently testing a “hyper-local” news card for Google Now, the company’s predictive intelligence technology currently available for Android and iOS. Speaking with Quartz, Johanna Wright, vice president of search and assist at Google, said the company is beta testing the new local news card in an effort to make residents more aware of what’s happening in their community.
According to Wright, the card is currently in the experimental phase, though it’s showing signs of progress—Wright recalls an instance where she discovered events happening (or that already happened) in her neighborhood, stuff she wouldn’t have otherwise known. “Someone was stabbed in the park near my house,” she said.
Right now, the search giant is getting feedback “from people in the market,” but the goal is to eventually make the card available to the public. However, a time frame for rollout is unclear. If people are in the habit of checking Google Now regularly anyway, introducing a hyper-local element could be beneficial for those deeply invested in a particular area. Or, it could be helpful for those vacationing, complementing the nearby events option quite nicely.