Friday, October 10, 2008

Cool Technology of the Week

Today's post is not about endorsing a specific candidate, it's about the cool use of social networking technology. As soon as McCain and Palin introduce a cool new social networking application for the iPhone, I'll write about it!

I've written extensively about social networking in many venues. We've embraced social networking at Harvard and its affiliates for everything from patient-doctor communications to sharing ideas among researchers.

Barack Obama's campaign has released a very innovative social networking tool for the iPhone that supports the Obama compaign. It inspired me to think about potential applications for similar tools in the research and academic environment.

It's called a "volunteering tool" on the website, but I can see this as a research collaboration tool. It has people grouped by battleground state (think research interest), videos/photos of campaign events (think lecture videos), news and events both national and local (think Harvard-wide vs individual institution), and call stats (think the network analysis to provide metrics of social networking success).

The iPhone SDK has a steep learning curve, but given the hundreds of iPhone apps already available in the App Store, it's clear that the iPhone has become a premier handheld computer environment for innovative software. All apps developed with the SDK run on the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G, and the iPod Touch.

My hat is off to the creative folks at the Obama campaign for an inspirational application that connects people and provides updated campaign information from the convenience of a phone. That's cool.


Jeremy_M_Taylor said...

I have to agree that the Obama iPhone application is a great breakthrough app!

It is very slick and well put together. I've heard people joke that Steve Jobs might have created the app for the Obama campaign for free! I doubt it though.

I think the concept could be used for a variety of things like you pointed out. The idea of something like this for schooling really hits the spot for me.

I downloaded the app on my iPhone and its got a lot of potential!

mxganse said...

The iPhone is indeed a "neat" phone, but goes against quite a few tenets we share. The closed-platform that runs on the iPhone will eventually go the way of Microsoft technology. As you know from your research and environment, open-source is a much better venture.

Apple needs to open up more code for the developers, remove the restrictions on bluetooth, and allow the phone to run with any network's SIM card.

Anonymous said...

I phone truly is a handy device and i mostly agree with unfoldingscene. though i think that apple will never open up more code...Anywayz thx for the post keep up the good work.

Spencer Robinson

Sachi said...

Obama's advertising on video games too!!

It will be useful to see your views on video games communicating health info.