Only a few weeks ago, when local discovery app WHERE launched a recommendation engine for sharing places with friends, I said I wished someone would build an app that used Facebook or Foursquare checkins instead. As it turns out, someone did just that. A new application called PathCrosser, launching right now in the iTunes App Store and Android Market is a mobile app that, like WHERE, uses Bump technology to compare your own personal local recommendations with your friends. With the Bump integration, you simply launch the app and tap phones with another person to make a connection. But unlike WHERE, it doesn’t expect to use data housed only within its own service – it pulls data from the services you already use: Facebook and Foursquare.
If you’re looking for a new app to try while waiting in line for some of those SXSW parties tonight, give PathCrosser a go and see what you think.
Conversation Starter, Matchmaker and Guide
The PathCrosser application keeps it simple – it’s not a Yelp competitor where users write long reviews of the businesses they’ve visited, it just pulls in the checkins you already have on hand – those from Facebook Places and Foursquare. Going forward, the app will integrate additional checkin sources, too, PathCrosser’s creators Clark Harris and Matthew Simpson told me when I sat down with them this afternoon to see the new app in action.
What’s more, PathCrosser plans to work with third-party APIs (application programming interfaces) to pull in other information that would be relevant, like your tips on Foursquare, for example, which could serve to augment the raw checkin data with your personal notes.
The fun part about using this app is that it can be a great conversation starter – bump phones with a friend and, all of sudden, not only do you see each other’s travels by way of your checkin history, the app’s matchmaking engine tells you whether or not you and your friend have similar tastes and interests.
Plus, for those who don’t use location-based checkin services, PathCrosser provides (or rather, it will provide) a Web-based interface where you can pick out the places you’ve visited or mark them as places you would like to visit. However, that portion of the PathCrosser service has not launched just yet because this startup built “mobile first,” as so many today choose to do.
For a first look at PathCrosser in action, check out the video below (sorry for the quality, I need a better camera):
Note: Video recorded with a Flip Cam, which was provided to me for use during SXSW.