Interesting companies, possible paper topics

I was at a conference this week and saw four companies that I thought some of you might be interested in looking at, in terms of what we’ve been discussing around new media and perceptions of the world.

Any one of them might be the basis of a good paper.

Names and addresses below. A description of the company from its Website, followed by my comments.
Affective Interfaces http://www.affectiveinterfaces.com/
Using emotion sensing technology, Affective Interfaces analyzes your customer’s facial expressions and can help you uncover the non rational influences affecting decisions from purchase to engagement. We help you understand how people are feeling about your brand, products and messaging.
(Interesting blend of the physical and virtual worlds.)

CitySourced – http://www.citysourced.com/

CitySourced is a real time mobile civic engagement tool. CitySourced provides a free, simple, and intuitive tool empowering citizens to identify civil issues (potholes, graffiti, trash, snow removal, etc.) and report them to city hall for quick resolution; an opportunity for government to use technology to save money and improve accountability to those they govern; and a positive, collaborative platform for real action. Our platform is called CitySourced, as it empowers everyday citizens to use their smart phones to make their cities a better place. CitySourced is powered by FreedomSpeaks, the leader in interactive civic engagement.

(Hugely impactful in terms of awareness; easy to foresee civic jobs being outsourced to ad hoc crews that fill the pothole, pick up the throwaway sofa.)

Crowd Flower – http://crowdflower.com/

Labor, on-demand.

• Get fast turnaround times for jobs computers can’t do.
• Hire thousands of people without picking up the phone.

(Note that Crowdflower runs on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk engine. It could also be good to look at Turk as an evolving fundamental system service – outcomes if it became pervasive?)

Breakthrough – http://www.breakthrough.com/

BreakThrough connects mental health professionals with clients through secure video, phone, and web.

(Some people are creeped out by this. I think it’s great; possibly not a replacement for face/face therapy, but a useful revival of the talking cure.)

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