Innovation That Matters

Text notifications warn customers away from restaurants at risk

Sport & Fitness

The NYC Big Apps competition is now in its second year, offering USD 20,000 of prizes encouraging developers to produce applications that “Help New York City become more transparent, accessible, and accountable.” One recent entry caught our eye for its innovative concept and integration with Foursquare. aims to warn users when they check in to a New York restaurant that is in danger of being closed for health code violations. Max Stoller, a computer science student that developed the service, notes that there are 1660 restaurants in the city that scored 28 points or more on their graded inspections without being closed. These establishments are targeted by the Health Department for extra checks, but Stoller aims to give diners the information they need to avoid them altogether. To do so, users sign in to the website with their Foursquare login — giving the system access to their registered mobile phone number. They will then be sent a warning message if they check in to a poorly-rated restaurant. Max Stoller has already recognized the nationwide appeal of his concept, and is in the process of expanding it to other cities. We have no doubt that a similar service would achieve success in increasingly health-conscious cities around the globe. How can you harness the growing pool of publicly-available data to present the masses with genuinely useful information? Spotted by: Katherine Noyes


Contact: @maxstoller

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