Is The Search Industry Still Innovative?

Yesterday I was walking with my wife to a local restaurant and she was telling me how her school (she's a teacher) installed a Smart Board 600i The Smart Board 600i can be hooked up to a laptop, supports drag and drop via a touch screen and allows teachers to use markers on it.

Here the Smartboard Video.

Since my wife told me how great the smart board is and what it can do, I was kind of stunned that her inner city high-need school, which is located not in the best neighborhood and certainly doesn't float in money, uses this advanced technology to teach kids.

It's 2008 and I am still using the same search engine interface that I used 5 years ago. Search Engine Conferences became more of an industry gathering (=parties) with the same speakers year after year rather than an innovative playground for new technology (like Web 2.0 conferences/Barcamps...).

Big coorporations like Microsoft and Yahoo still copy Google  too often instead of fixing their core technology  (just visit the SERPs on live.com for  the keyword "apartment". Until the results look "normal" I refuse to use Live.com).

I could go on and on with this for a while, but it wouldn't help. I guess it is time that someone says something.  Search gurus could push the industry to another level and conference planners should move forward and let innovators speak and interact. Old and new media should try to be  more open to new technology rather than writing polarizing articles, which generate more traffic/income, but are not helping anybody.

Overall everybody in the search industry should try to move the industry forward. It's a fun industry and it will be fun unless we keep talking about how Google changed their logo from 6 to 5 colors.