Sunday, May 01, 2005

Mobile Movielens

Movielens is a personalized movie recommendation site run by the Grouplens research team at the University of Minnesota. I've known about the site for a while but only recently started using it. So far I've been impressed.

Ideally though, I would like the following technology to exist. My girlfriend and I walk into Blockbuster and assume our regular routine of scouring the DVD racks looking for movies that we remember we should see. We might pick up a DVD, read the back of the movie box and keep it in our hands just in case we decide on it. I would like to be able to use my cell phone to take a picture of the front cover (or perhaps the DVD bar code) and query Movielens right there in Blockbuster. Movielens would then automatically take into account that I am with my girlfriend (because we both have bluetooth enabled cell phones) and tell me whether this is a movie we would both enjoy (e.g. "Yes, based on your mutual preferences, Hotel Rwanda is a 4.5"). Movielens could also return the ranking along with the ranking to provide a bit more context to their personalized rating.

Update: [9:42 05/04/2005] So, since I made this post (3 long days ago), I found three papers that nearly address my above scenario: PocketLens - Toward a Personal Recommender System by Bradley Miller, et. al., MovieLens Unplugged - Experiences with a Recommender System on Four Mobile Devices by Bradley Miller, et. al., PolyLens: A Recommender System for Groups of Users by Mark O'Connor, et. al. All of these papers can be found at the University of Minnesota Grouplens site.

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