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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Mergers and acquisitionsinternetbusiness issuesGooglesearch enginesInternet-based applications and servicesClever Sense

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

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?