Friday, September 6, 2013

Are we ready for a PSYOP App?

The Financial Times of September 2, 2013 ran an article “Lebanon turns to apps to avoid growing violence linked to Syria (See:
The article describes “Smartphone applications that map gun battles and differentiate between fireworks and gunfire, offer paths around roadblocks and even contact the army in the event of kidnap are becoming a must-have for Lebanese commuters.”

The concept of a PSYOP app intrigues me. While I don’t consider myself a ‘techie’ per se, I do have a lot of electronic gadgets: iPad, iPhone, laptops, desktops, digital cameras (with their own wi-fi capabilities), etc. Today’s MISO practitioner, whether military or contractor, will also likely have the latest and greatest technology as well.

As a practical matter it would make sense to take full advantage of COTS products as much as possible. 

The range of potential capabilities is almost endless. In addition to verbal and non-verbal translators, some of the other functions would include access to all the current manuals (without a CAC card), perhaps the CIA Factbook, media data by country for print, broadcast and on-line media, briefings that I could use with my ‘customers’, video reachback for streaming content in the field, a currency converter, etc.

The timing for such an app appears to be right and would ride the crest of the “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend that is engulfing the commercial sector. It would also serve to help take advantage of the innate creative of our younger MISO practitioners who are far more in tune with younger audiences and who are in the best position to reach these difficult to influence audiences.

Such an app would have to be suited for Apple, Android and even Windows as potential users might include allied forces as well. Conceptually the app could be a creation platform whose output would be influence products designed to operate on the smartphones, tablets and computing wearables such as the next generation of Internet capable watches.

A little high tech imagination never hurt anyone. Reader comments welcome.

No comments: