Wizard way of choosing right pub
By Johann Vannisselroy, Otago Daily Times; 14 Sep 2005
Dull or ambient? Cheap or expensive? Wide range or standard?
What do you prefer? And what are you looking for?
It’s not a criteria for potential partners — although we’ll get to that later — but a method for selecting the right Dunedin pub.
Using software they developed, Dunedin men Paul Hansen and Franz Ombler now offer a free web-based guide to help users choose the ideal drinking establishment.
“If you’re new to town and you ask someone where to go, you’ll only get their opinion,” Dr Hansen, a University of Otago senior economics lecturer, said.
“But using this, you’ll be able to set out the criteria you want and hopefully end up somewhere that suits you.”
Incorporating 20 city pubs, “pubpointwizard” uses a series of questions to provide a ranking system from most to least desirable watering hole.
People can use the software from WAP or HTML-capable mobile phones, allowing them to make a decision while out and about.
“In time, we envisage GPScapable phones being able to show the distance to the nearest desirable bar,” Dr Hansen said.
But, as with many decisions made today, compromise is a near certainty.
“There’s seldom a perfect option out there. A sacrifice usually has to be made.
“Choosing a bar you’ll have to make trade-offs. You may have to sacrifice ambience for cheaper drinks — if that’s what you want.”
Dr Hansen hopes to use the technology in a dating capability soon, but warns the same trade-off will apply.
“Everyone wants a hot-looking partner — but that person may not have intelligence. What’s more important to you?”
The software, called Point Wizard, is currently used by the Ministry of Health to make elective surgery waiting list decisions, and can be used to make practically any decision.
However, Dr Hansen said results might not always please some people — sometimes for very different reasons.
“A friend/colleague showed it to a girl he knew and she used it help her make a decision on which guy to see.
“She knew about 22 different guys she liked and entered them into the system.
“The guy who showed her wasn’t too happy. He came in second.”
He also offered a disclaimer in case of a rotten night out.
“Don’t blame us if you end up in the wrong bar.”
Bar-goers can see which pub suits them best by logging on to: http://pub.pointwizard.-com.
More information about the software, currently being trialled by 150 people, is available from www.pointwizard.com.
PHOTO: GERARD O‘BRIEN
Cheers to that . . . Dr Paul Hansen, whose software Point Wizard can help Dunedin barhoppers make a better choice when deciding "where to next?"