Republican National Convention Gets Technical with Google+, Skype, and Kinect

The Republican National Convention which is scheduled to take place in Tampa, Florida, hopes to be the most "tech-savvy" in the party's history. The RNC has teamed up with Microsoft and Google to provide the technology they want to offer attendees at this year's event. Republican National Convention organizers plan to live-stream all of this year's speeches, offer Google+ "hangouts," and to find unique ways to use Microsoft's Kinect technology during the event.

Google+ will be the official "Social Platform" for the Tampa event Aug. 27-30, and Microsoft will be its official "Innovation Provider" for the third election season in a row.

"We're taking the convention beyond Tampa," communications director James Davis said in a phone interview with IBT, "so people can have a front-row seat."

For its part, Microsoft will be providing tools like Skype, Kinect, Web application SharePoint, consulting with organizers, and helping with the planning and execution of the Republican National Convention (as it relates to the technology, not the politics of it).

While organizers have secured tools like Kinect to use at the event, they haven't quite figured out how they will use these tools. According to IBT, organizers are still "brainstorming" on how they can use Kinect to their advantage. Davis said that they plan on using Skype to video chat with delegates or broadcast television interviews.

"We're going all-out," Davis said, adding that we would have to "wait and see" how the RNC decides to use the Xbox technology.

Google's part in the event will be related to its social, web-based services. Google will take care of live-streams of speeches, hosting video chat hangouts and "providing gavel-to-gavel coverage of the speakers."

While Microsoft and Google may be partners with the RNC, this relationship remains strictly business. While Microsoft spokesperson Christina Pearson would not comment on possible participation with the 2012 Democratic National Convention just yet, the company served as an Official Software Provider for the DNC in 2004 and 2008.

"On both issues and political engagement, Microsoft has a longstanding record of working on a bipartisan basis," Pearson said.

Source: IBT

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