updated 06:15 pm EST, Tue December 13, 2011
Google may get auto recommended food guides
Google on Tuesday bought Clever Sense, a young startup that had only recently released its first Android and iOS app. The deal supplies the technology behind Alfred, which provides automatic restaurant and night club recommendations based on location and past visits. Exact aims weren't outlined, but Clever Sense co-founder Babak Pahlavan promised that it would "accelerate" the concept of personalized, intelligent local search.
The acquirer planned to keep supporting Alfred for at least the near future. Terms weren't given out.
Google's deal follows a series of moves in place recommendations that culminated in the acquisition of Zagat at the end of the summer. Its agreements have been moving the company closer to an end-to-end system where users can find and review places without having to leave for another site.
Alfred's technology could end up providing a more direct Google alternative to Apple's Siri. The system found only in the iPhone 4S isn't a predictive system, but it can help users find restaurants by going directly to Yelp's recommendations and using location as well as intelligent keywords, including whether or not a place is "good." Google may achieve a similar effect but could use alternate criteria, such as cost or the existence of a patio, as well as skip using voice while still keeping the interface simple.