Thursday, January 8, 2009

PSYOP and Technology

Living in Silicon Valley has its advantages. One of them is being able to get into San Francisco in less than an hour. Through my computer forensics contacts (see I was able to get a pass to my first ever MacWorld Expo. Admittedly the last time I had a Mac was in the era of the Mac512, but as a new iPhone user and gadgeteer I thought it would be worthwhile.

What does this have to do with PSYOP – plenty!

MacWorld is a Mecca for creative types. I felt that over 1/3 of the floor was dedicated to digital photography with ample representation from the likes of Nikon and Canon. There were lenses, and software and even an on-line publisher for photo books. Video was not neglected either and was ably represented by an array of cameras, software and accessories.

Apple in particular has done quite well to, as they used to say in IBM, “lower the skill level of the user”. Apple architecture allows non-technical people to accomplish incredible technically sophisticated feats. The Apple infrastructure is also simple enough to master quickly without the mumbo jumbo and angst generally associated with Windows.

Things that struck me as interesting from a PSYOP perspective:
1. Wireless Internet Cameras
2. Personal Video Glasses that allow the user to view iPod and other videos in a surrounding environment.
3. Wireless SIM card to transmit digital photos either to a computer or to an on-line service.
4. A myriad of video and digital photo editors.
5. Script writing software
6. Google’s free on-line sketching program
7. Outlining software for the iPhone
8. Whiteboard software for the iPhone

Today’s PSYOP soldier is a digital native – meaning they have grown up with technology. They are as comfortable sending a “text” as they are eating Pizza. These skills and the burgeoning technology supporting them are a boon to PSYOP. Rapid advances will continue to raise the bar on capabilities while lowering the cost.

The more critical aspect will remain to understand the culture and language nuances that make successful PSYOP products.

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