Users can already use Google to do everything from check the weather to order lunch directly from the website’s search results. Now the company has been awarded a patent that would let people cast a vote using Google as well.
The new patent would allow Google to build a “voting user interface” that would accompany search results. In an illustration of how the system might work, a roster of candidates on an American Idol-style singing show are presented where the info boxes currently appear below the Google search bar. The ballot would be open only to “authenticated” users.
While the example Google presents is for entertainment, the company notes that the voting feature could also be used for “polls, elections, contests, marketing and the like.” Still, Google files plenty of patents that are never developed into full products, so there’s no guarantee we’ll be voting for President online anytime soon.