iPhone Homeless app iHobo

A new iphone app features a virtual homeless person…

Poeple may well question the ethics or indeed sanity of one homeless organisation in teaming up with an irratintingly trendy London ad agency. Homeless youth charity Depaul comisisoned Publicis London to make an iphone app, the iHobo, to ‘publicise the plight of homeless people.’ Why? Is this a good use of resources? Is it patronising garbage for what seems like an increasingly overcrowded charity sector or is it a clever tactic courting controversy to raise awareness of dePauls? After all Shelter have just been handed a big wedge of cash thanks to Rage Against The Machine and a Facebook group’s dislike of Simon Cowell… Comments on the iHobo app download site ( itunes ) include users asking for extra functionality such as kicking and beating the homeless person may question it’s appropriateness to the task…See the follow for example:-

“Donwloaded (sic)for a laugh and this app adds a bit of humour/fun to a serious topic” “Would be better if you could beat or punish ur hobo when hes naughty. Also a network link so we could have hobo fighting amongst friends and place bets would make the app more realistic.”

What do you think?…

http://www.brandrepublic.com/News/1001907/Publicis-London-launches-iHobo-app-raise-homeless-awareness/

DePaul charity website

iHobo app site

Download site

It’s not to be confused with a spoof app of the same name featured in Wired magazine around a year ago. (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/07/augmented-reality-hobo-signs-theres-an-app-for-that/ )