Geodelic, a local mobile search start-up, just went public with its funding and some screenshots. I had the opportunity to get a demo from Geodelic CEO Rahul Sonnad about a month ago and I really liked what I saw. While there is nothing really new about the basic idea behind Geodelic – find something local on your mobile device, what is new is their attempt at being a one-stop shop for local mobile search on your phone.
As anyone who has had a conversation with me about Web-based local search knows, I generally think all players in the IYP world have done a fairly poor job of creating a truly innovative user interface to help me accomplish my local search tasks in a way that is easy, useful and satisfying. As anyone who has had a conversation with me about mobile local search knows, I generally think there are too many apps trying to solve different pieces of the puzzle (Yelp, YellowPages.com, Google Voice Search, etc.) and as a user I think I just want one.
The first thing that struck me about Geodelic’s service was the design. If you think UrbanSpoon had a cool design, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Geodelic. The thing is smooth. I think that’s best word for it. Smooth.
Beyond design, the concept as I understood it, is to start the experience by providing the user’s current location information and then allowing the user to explore from there. One of the example’s I recall is the idea of being in a maternity ward. The service knows you are in a maternity ward and can prompt you to provide assistance for all the things you might want to find related to being in a marternity ward (diapers, nearest pharmacy, a cigar to pass around maybe?, etc.). It wasn’t exactly rocket science, but it was useful.
While there are several local mobile search apps (e.g. Where) that have baked in a lot of other niche local services like Yelp Reviews, GasBuddy, OpenTable, ServiceMagic, etc., it seems like Geodelic’s ambition is for these services to be presented to you in a more relevant, contextual fashion.
While I didn’t spend enough time with the service to say that they have achieved this, I did see how the UI was interesting enough to make me want to give the service a try. And at this point in local mobile search, that’s good enough.
I really don’t want to have to use multiple apps to find what I am looking for. If Geodelic solves this problem, they will truly become “my precious”.
Geodelic’s Sherpa service will be coming soon to the new T-Mobile Android phone.