Performing a Google-based search on your touchscreen mobile device could soon get a lot easier. Like "draw a G and circle the text in question" sort of easy.
According to patents posted online today, Google has developed, and been granted patent protection for, a search function similar to the scribblings performed on an old Palm handheld. Users will simply draw a lowercase G on their touchscreen that tails into a circle encompassing the search term -- essentially you're writing "go" with the O surrounding what you want found.
And if you don't want to use Google search but rather query Wikipedia or another site directly, a user can substitute the G for an S to pop a contextual menu with available search engines.
Given the fact that I just recently -- like two days ago -- mastered cutting and pasting on my mobile, the prospect for searching without leaving the current page or even interacting with the text itself is a very promising one. I can't wait for this to get integrated into an upcoming version of Chrome for Android. [Patently Apple]