Google buys developer of Alfred personal assistant

Clever Sense's mobile app Alfred offers personalized recommendations

Google has acquired Clever Sense, the developer of Alfred, a personalized restaurant and bars recommendations app, for an undisclosed price, the companies said Tuesday.

The Internet giant has been strengthening its local offerings. It acquired in September for example a restaurant ratings publisher Zagat to boost its online maps and local business listings with trustworthy reviews and recommendations.

Alfred, which currently provides recommendations on restaurants, bars, and night life in the locality where the person is, could however down the line broaden its scope, potentially making it the Android alternative to the Siri personal assistant on Apple's iPhone 4S.

Clever Sense's co-founder and CEO Babak Pahlavan suggested in a notice on the company's website that Alfred may include other information sources and services.

Discovering local information is extremely important to both users and businesses, and the acquisition of Clever Sense will benefit both, Pahlavan said. "With Google and Clever Sense working together, our entire team looks forward to building more intelligent, serendipitous and magical services!", he added.

Pahlavan is quoted elsewhere on the website as saying that "Today, having a knowledgeable personal assistant, ever ready at our side, to sift through the daily information overload and deliver tidbits actually relevant to what we like and what we want to do, could not be more needed".

Google's senior vice president of mobile, Andy Rubin, however told the AllThingsD AsiaD conference in October that he didn't believe the phone should be an assistant. "You shouldn't be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone," he added.

The Clever Sense platform, around which Alfred is built, is described by the company as designed "to connect the online world with the offline world by delivering recommendations to the users in context, taking into account time, place, and intent".

Alfred is available on both Android and the iPhone and iPad from Apple. Groupon was planning to acquire Clever Sense at one point, according to unconfirmed reports.

An extraction engine built into the Clever Sense Platform curates large amounts of unstructured crawled data by using natural language processing, statistical machine learning, and data mining algorithms, the company said on its website. A "Serendipity Engine" learns about the user's interests and preferences based on his interactions with various sources, including Clever Sense apps, Facebook, and Twitter.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of local, maps and location services welcomed the Clever Sense team in a Twitter message.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuesInternet-based applications and servicesGoogleClever Senseinternetsearch enginesMergers and acquisitions

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?