My good friend Dan Siegel is in the process of launching a smartphone app that will help TV watchers who are bombarded with election-related commercials funded by Super PACs identify (1) which organizations are paying for the ad, (2) what other political initiatives they support, and (3) what research has been done to substantiate their claims. The app will use sound tagging technology to identify the commercial based on a recorded sound clip, similar to the technology used by the Shazam app.
The idea came out of a project for a digital media class in MIT’s media lab. Dan, along with his co-founder Jennifer Hollett from the Harvard Kennedy School, recently received funding to make it a reality, and are working pretty hard (I can’t even get Dan to take a break to grab a beer) to bring the app live by the end of August when election-based commercial spending is expected to significantly pick up.
Dan and Jennifer were recently written up in Forbes Magazine:
In the run-up to Election Day, more than 670 super PACs have spent over $280 million to influence political advertising – and the numbers keep rising. So which super PAC finances certain ads? And which candidate does each super PAC lean towards? Well, there’s an app for that.
Congrats guys. I’m looking forward to giving it try.