Earthcomber's patented system automatically scans the surroundings for people, places or things that match the user's unique tastes and interests.
"It's astounding to see so many opportunities around you at any time," said Earthcomber inventor and president, Jim Brady. "You can now set your phone on 'surprise me.'"
Users tag interests from extensive lists - for example, Greek cuisine, historic buildings, hot chai tea, or free WiFi access. They can also add their own items, and invite friends so they can spot them, too.
Then, all they have to do is walk, ride or drive.
Earthcomber constantly scans their area for any matches, using the iPhone's GPS. Any place that has anything of interest is announced by an optional chime.
Results are displayed according to what is closest. One tap surfaces in-depth information about each location, with integrated maps and directions. Earthcomber boasts an extensive collection of restaurants, nightlife, movies, concerts, historic sites, business essentials and more. The people-networking offers numerous privacy and security features.
Earthcomber, a free download, is one of many applications Apple offers to showcase the iPhone's advanced features, such as GPS, data networking, multimedia and mapping.
Earthcomber is different, according to Brady, because it orchestrates multiple technologies so that the iPhone user doesn't have to jump from one application to the next to accomplish related tasks.
"That's the whole point," Brady said. "We don't have to turn off our eyes to start up our ears, and we sure don't have to fill out a search box for our brains to work. Earthcomber uses mobile technology as a powerful extension of our natural abilities, so that we can be constantly aware of what's right around us."