This article was published on May 18, 2011

Kuipp for iPhone lets you feel like a local wherever you are

Kuipp for iPhone lets you feel like a local wherever you are
Matthew Panzarino
Story by

Matthew Panzarino

Matthew Panzarino was Managing Editor at TNW. He's no longer with the company, but you can follow him on Twitter. Matthew Panzarino was Managing Editor at TNW. He's no longer with the company, but you can follow him on Twitter.

One of the best travel tools you could ever have is a friend that lives in the area. If you’re going to another city or country, your life is always made easier by having someone that knows the area handy that you can ask questions of. Where is the best place for breakfast? What acts are playing in local clubs? Does this park keep its lights on late? Well Kuipp is that friend that you have in the area, but you get to carry them around on your iPhone.

Kuipp [App Store, free] is a Q&A app with a concept that is similar to that found in sites like Quora where you ask a question and get answers from industry professionals. But instead of answers from anyone around the world, you get answers from people local to your question.

Let’s say you’re traveling to San Francisco for the weekend and you’ve just arrived at your hotel. It’s right around lunch and you have the hankering for some sausage sandwiches. You could pull up Yelp and search for sausage but unless the business has that in their name or keywords, you’re going to end up with a lot of options and not a lot of feedback from locals. Instead, you open up Kuipp and start a new question. “Where is the best place for sausage sandwiches around here?”

You leave your hotel and start walking down the street. A couple of minutes later your phone announces that you have an answer. You launch Kuipp to see that someone has responded to your question with “Tony’s Dogs is hands down the best in town!” You tap on the profile of the answering person and you see that they’ve got a 65% influence rating, their interests include food and restaurants and that they’ve answered 25 questions on Quipp. You can tell that this is someone local that you can trust the opinion of.

The scenario could be applied to a variety of situations, finding out whether a club is crowded, if the road work is done on First street or perhaps if there’s a free concert in the park this afternoon. The power of Kuipp comes from the fact that it’s localized to an area and that the people answering your questions are all much more familiar with that area than you are.

Chris Ling of Kuipp says that their goal is to build a large enough community to get an answer for your question within 5-10 minutes, a short enough period to allow you to pop your phone out while you’re in transit and have an answer before you get there. He thinks that there is an opportunity for events like the recent Giants World Series win to allow Kuipp to really shine, letting people get the lowdown on after parties, gatherings or events going on in the crowded city.

As a Kuipp user, you’re also able to answer questions as well ask them so you can help people out looking for answers on your home turf. As you answer questions you’re awarded medals for your efforts. Chris said that an example might be if you answered 25 questions in an hour you would then be awarded the ‘Rapid Fire’ medal. These medals, along with the likes or dislikes that your answers receive, help to build your reputation on Kuipp.

The Kuipp team is still improving on the way that the app pushes questions out to Kuipp users in the area but currently you can choose just how close a question can be before you get a notification about it and whether you want to get asked questions about your interests in particular.

I’m pretty excited about the potential of Kuipp for giving me answers to local questions when I travel. I rarely go by the recommendations of hotel staff or advertisements, instead preferring to get the opinions of locals when I need the best route for getting somewhere or the best food in the area. Now those locals are just a few taps away on my phone, it’s a pretty slick way to get the info you need quickly. Kuipp has just been launched on the App Store for free so you can grab it and start asking questions, or answering them, now.

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