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Super PAC App: Disrupting “politics as usual”

· August 24, 2012

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The Super PAC App, launched on Wednesday, is like Shazam and SoundHound, but for political ads.  As the site explains, the app uses audio recognition technology to identify “who and how much money is behind the ad, what claims the ad is making, and whether those claims are based on facts.”  The app is free, but it’s currently only available on iPhones.  (Add me to the list of people hoping that it comes to Android soon!  Please?)

People are already familiar with this type of service for discovering music.  It’s great to see similar technology giving citizens the power to become more informed in this election cycle.  This is an example of using an innovation that was developed for, or at least popularized by, a more recreational use, now being used to aid in a very fundamentally important use —citizen engagement and participation in politics.  Another example is the amazing research being done with touchless technology developed for Kinect for Xbox 360, now being adopted by heart surgeons(!) to aid in their precision during surgery.

Super PAC App really has the potential to impact voters, and disrupt the way that people consume political advertisements, without necessarily knowing the background, and what’s not being said.  I’m not sure it rises to the level of (ugh) “gamification,” but it does make becoming more informed more fun.  And that is pretty super.

Innovation

New technologies are constantly emerging that promise to change our lives for the better. These disruptive technologies give us an increase in choice, make technologies more accessible, make things more affordable, and give consumers a voice. And the pace of innovation has only quickened in recent years, as the Internet has enabled a wave of new, inter-connected devices that have benefited consumers around the world, seemingly in all aspects of their lives. Preserving an innovation-friendly market is, therefore, tantamount not only to businesses but society at large.