updated 08:45 pm EDT, Thu August 25, 2011
Goes beyond local reviews, gets personal
Ness Computing has launched its first app, a restaurant recommendation app called Ness that the company says goes beyond gathering crowd-sourced reviews, using social-media data mining, user interaction learning and natural language processing to try and gauge both quality and popularity of a given establishment. The app gathers mentions and reviews from other services that contain the name of the restaurant in order to present an even broader cross-section of opinion.
The idea is to combine data from user reviews with Foursquare check-ins, Facebook "likes" and other mentions along with the user's preferences to both localize and personalize recommendations, factoring popularity in alongside critical reviews. The final product is not just a overview of the restaurant, but a prediction on how likely the user will enjoy it.
The app requires iOS 4.0 or later, works with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and is a free of charge. The company expects to add shopping, travel, music and other entertainment features to the app or to future apps over time.