The app is a personalized search engine catered specifically towards discovering new restaurants. Instead of similar services that focus primarily on reviews from every user or location-based restaurant apps that offer up results only based on proximity, Ness tailors the results to your specific tastes and your friends’ recommendations. You can view restaurants nearby or restaurants from anywhere.
Ness is driven by the company’s Likeness Engine, which pulls recommendations based on a wealth of different sources including your taste profile, your similarity to other users, the restaurant’s popularity, and friends’ recommendations from synced social networks. The service then gives a “Likeness Score” between 0 percent and 100 percent that predicts how much you’ll like the restaurant. With similar services, 10 users from the same area who look for a Mexican restaurant will all be recommended the same restaurants. With Ness, each user receives results that are completely unique to them: if you prefer authentic Mexican to a chain with Mexican options, your results will reflect that. You can select to filter out all big chains or hide the places you’ve previously rated to garner only new results.
Ness also has location-based capabilities so you can filter restaurants based on where you are located. The service remembers your favorite types of food, so even if you visit a new city, all you have to do is turn on the distance filter to find something nearby that you’ll love. In addition, the discovery app makes it easy to find hidden gems by searching restaurants marked as a “local favorite.”
Ness might be focused on restaurants for the time being, but they’re planning to expand their service to include options like music, shopping, nightlife, and entertainment.
To give the service a try, download the app from the App Store. Unfortunately, the app is not available on Android or BlackBerry devices at the time of this writing and only available to users in the U.S.