Can’t decide on a name for your baby-to-be?
Two Jerusalem app developers have come to the rescue with The Namestork, a search tool they developed to help expectant parents discover name ideas based on their personal taste.

Enter a few favorite names, or the names of the children you already have, and the recommendation engine generates a list of suggestions based on its understanding of your preferences.

A complementary list-management widget makes it easy to save the suggestions you like most and share them with friends and family in multiple formats.

“We designed the app to help parents find the perfect name without going through tedious and never-ending name lists,” says Roy Golan. “A lot of parents already have a general idea about the ‘feeling’ of the name they’re looking for, but they still can’t find the one. The idea is to use a technological solution that will translate this general feeling into a list of names with the highest match potential.”

Golan tells ISRAEL21c that The Namestork relies on collaborative filtering technology, which enables personalized recommendations based on user behavior patterns.

“Applications of this type optimize the way users discover items and increase the likelihood of a match,” he says.

The Namestork’s recommendation algorithm utilizes a dataset of more than 30,000 names and years of user names-preference data gathered during the web app’s beta phase in Hebrew.

The updated app, which works on most mobile and desktop devices, was officially released in English on June 28. Versions in Spanish, Hebrew and Portuguese will be live by the end of August. Arabic, Russian, Malay, French and German will follow.

Golan says that he and his partner were curious to see how collaborative filtering could help people discover more than books or movies. Applying it to baby names, “We realized that the algorithm is able to trace not only general name styles, but also tends to generate names with similar length, specific letters, sound and theme. This was interesting since there is no content-related ‘thinking’ behind the recommendation engine; it’s purely statistical.”

Golan calls the enterprise “an important hobby” as it has no funding. “Nevertheless, we are definitely looking to expand the app’s activity and release versions in additional languages in the near future.”

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