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The Sunday Paper (Virtual Daddy Edition)

star wars.jpgDT's good friend and SpouseBUZZ founder Andi forwarded an "opportunity" currently posted at DoD Tech Match with the following objective:

"To develop a highly interactive PC or web-based application to allow family members to verbally interact with virtual renditions of deployed Service Members."

The opportunity frames the challenge to killer app designers with the notion that "the stresses of deployment might be softened if spouses and especially children could conduct simple conversations with their loved ones in immediate times of stress or prolonged absence." It goes on to suggest that traditionally "families have derived comfort and support from photographs or mementos, but current technology should allow for more personal interactive messages of support" and that "computer-based applications would resonate with children and capture their interest and imagination."

Cool idea, no doubt. But . . . and maybe this is the novelist in me coming out . . . right away I start thinking about the unintended consequences of this technology. What happens, for instance, during the reintegration process (the period immediately following the servicemember's return from deployment) when the child realizes that the vitual servicemember was a lot nicer that the real deal?

Paging Dr. Freud . . .

(Star Wars image courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

-- Ward

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