Trial Offer

1 07 2011

My phone is filled with a variety of interesting apps. Weather. Shopping. QR and bar code readers. Sports scores. Social media. Games. You name it. Even the London Tube Map.

But until yesterday I never had an app that allowed me to following the play-by-play in one of the nation’s most-watched courtroom trials. Turns out that the Casey Anthony trial is so popular that the #1 and #4 for-purchase apps at iTunes are dedicated to this trial. No kidding. A Florida woman is accused of murdering her child, and suddenly everyone wants to know the score.

Well, call the witness for the defense, and let the record show that I stand in awe.

OJ Simpson may have once captivated a nation with his antics and legal maneuverings, but he suffered from the fact that he simply came along too early. And while Casey Anthony may have not planned her alleged scheme to coincide with the app generation, she is nevertheless one popular lady right now.

Even if she may never get a nickel from her notoriety.

The two apps are only $0.99 each, but once again, the enormous profit potential becomes apparent when you consider that possibly millions of these apps will be sold. It’s Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail all over again. There’s a market out there for the obscure, the weird, the bizarre. And you don’t necessarily have to charge a lot to make good bank.

But the academic in me wonders the purchase motives for this app. Is it simply to stay informed? Are we intrigued with the judicial process? Is the prosecuting attorney a star in waiting? Or do a whole bunch of us have a lurid fascination with potentially seeing a woman sentenced to death for a heinous crime?

I suspect the latter.

The apps allow us to watch streaming video, view pics, read testimony…pretty much see and hear everything that a fly on the wall would experience. Which means, of course, that the Casey Anthony trial will go down in history as a historic moment not so much in jurisprudence, but rather new and interesting ways to use apps. The door is open, and app programmers from henceforth will no doubt be leaving no stone unturned in their quest to create The Next Big App.

Because apps really are just little peep holes, when you think about it. Peep holes to places we cannot possibly be in the flesh, but have no problem viewing remotely. I can only imagine where these peep holes will appear next. But if enough of you are willing to pay me $0.99 apiece, I’ll be happy to set up an appcam in my office so you can watch me counting my money. Because this is the kind of killing I’d rather be doing.

Dr “Cha-Ching” Gerlich


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