February 22, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
WHERE already supplies entertainment recommendations based on user preferences and history. The latest version of the app, which incorporates technology from Bump, can now provide restaurant suggestions based on shared preferences or interests of multiple people.
I discovered the perfect use-case for this type of app last week while venturing with a few people I met at a conference. The awkward “I’ll go anywhere you want to go” shuffle always occurred because no one wanted to go out on a limb and definitively say what type of food he or she wanted. None of us being locals who knew the area further complicated matters.
That’s where the WHERE app could have helped. By physically bumping phones with another person, WHERE would have searched our profiles and discovered that I enjoy spicy food while my new friend loves sushi. The recommendation tool would then notice our similarities and filter restaurant listings accordingly. It would have quickly told us that the pan-Asian restaurant near our hotel offered spicy Thai dishes for me to enjoy and a plentiful sushi menu my friend would have loved.
WHERE is not as popular as other location services like Foursquare, so you won’t always meet people who have it installed. And because the app only works with WHERE history and Facebook likes, it leaves out a large amount of data from Foursquare that could make recommendations more comprehensive. Shortcomings aside, WHERE may be a useful tool for hesitant or unsure diners. The app is ideal for people looking to get a clearly-defined list of places that will probably best suit the desires of new friends or people with varying interests.
It is available for free on iPhone and Android 1.6+ mobile phones.