You know the feeling. Making your n-th way around that congested NYC block, hoping to park your car but only watching your gas meter get that much closer to dangerously low while you're hoping to have at least dessert with your dinner date. Independent software developers Peter Cetinski and Dimitriy Frenkel hope to temper your road rage—and help the environment too, with ParkShark, an app that promises to land you a parking spot, as soon as you need it. And it works anywhere in the world, not just Manhattan.
According to the ParkShark app site, the app aims to "optimize the use of limited parking resources, reduce pollution, reduce congestion and eliminate the frustration that comes with searching for a parking space." App users post updates as to what time their spot will be available, and ParkShark then uses a custom algorithm to alert members with good ratings of the available spaces, before displaying the info to others. That way, users are encouraged to build their ratings by sharing and reserving spaces in a consistent fashion.
"The idea for the app came to me while driving up and down side streets in Manhattan looking for a free parking space," says Cetinski. "I felt like a shark stalking its prey, and I knew there had to be a better way to inform other drivers where and when a spot may become available. But, it wasn't really possible to deliver properly in a rich enough fashion until the iPhone came out and became as popular as it has." ParkShark is still in its infancy, and "we really need to build a strong user base to make the system truly effective," Cetinski says. "That's what we're trying to do now. Also, the iPhone app is really only a piece of the puzzle we are working on." Among the other pieces are Blackberry and Android versions.