Things were so much simpler before smartphones.
Email was contained to our computers. Selfies were limited to annoying tourists in New York City. We shared music on mixtapes. We actually enjoyed concerts instead of trying to record them. We didn’t feel compelled to look up every arcane fact on Google.
And we certainly didn’t take photos of every meal we ate.
But as annoying as it is when people constantly snap and post their crappy pre-meal photos on social media, perhaps the app, “Foodie” can turn the bothersome behavior into a blessing.
The mobile app, which was recently demonstrated at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, is very much like a Tinder for meals.
Foodie shows users Yelp photos of restaurants in their area. If a food looks appetizing and magically delicious (ala Lucky Charms), users swipe right to like it. If, on the other hand, a food looks gross, they swipe left to dislike it.
All swipes to the right are saved, and the user can then see the Yelp reviews of the restaurants they saved. A map also allows users to see what restaurants in their area are hot at any given moment given the swiping patterns of other Foodie users. Foodie founder John Kim says:
We want to know where other people are around the location and then be able to give them what’s hot now. That’s something Yelp doesn’t do; it shows you what was hot before, but it doesn’t show what’s trending now based on the weather. If it’s super hot, ice cream could be trending, for example.
This app has several things going for it. When it comes to evaluating food, we tend to respond at an instinctual level. We see a photo and immediately make a judgement on whether or not it looks appetizing. Foodie basically allows users to organize and analyze their instinctive judgements.
The app also lets users get almost real-time information about restaurants. Instead of relying on old reviews, users can see what people around them are liking and disliking right now.
Now if only these guys could come up with an app that helps my wife decide what she wants once we get to the restaurant.
Stephen Altrogge is a freelance writer based in Tallahassee, Florida. He writes about tech, marketing, faith, and lots of other things. He’s married to Jen and has three young girls. Every day he consumes more coffee than the entire population of Colombia. He knows more about Star Wars than any respectable man should, and he runs more than any sane man would. He once attempted to eat a 2 pound hamburger in under an hour. He failed.
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