Inaugural using the expected mob to enhance cellphoning
January 5th, 2009

A Washington Post report today describes the preparations underway by the cellphone industry to meet the anticipated need of users, and do some new things. The article titled Inauguration Spotlights Cellphone Opportunities recaps the expected crush of calls and related challenges, and then adds:

AppTek of McLean is hoping many inauguration attendees will use its product that translates text messages into different languages. The company has licensed its technology to other online firms including, and, and consumers can download the software to their BlackBerrys, PDAs and other smartphones.

“Everyone is going to want to speak to everyone else, regardless of the language,” said Mike Veronis, head of business development for AppTek.

AppTek is also working with DARPA, the U.S. Defense Department’s research lab, to develop handheld devices that can translate two-way conversations in real time. The device is intended for use by military and intelligence workers.

“Whatever starts to get funded by these government labs has the ultimate goal to become a mass-market product,” Veronis said. “That shows the government is moving that way.”

Both firms hope the mass text messages that helped fuel Obama’s campaign success will continue long after the inauguration.

“For the first time ever, more people are texting than making voice calls,” Titus said. “And the texting generation is the one Obama has been targeting.”

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