Posts Tagged ‘iPhorest’


Thursday, March 26th, 2009

If you read my previous post about online “social spaces,” you know I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Maybe that’s why I think there’s something ridiculous about iPhorest, the brand-new IPhone app (the cutesy iPh prefix, for starters). Sure, it’s for a good cause: After downloading the software for $4.99, you plant a virtual tree. For each virtual tree you plant, the Conservation Fund will plant a real-life native tree—starting with the restoration of vulnerable wildlife habitats along our own Gulf Coast. So far so good.

It’s what you have to do to plant your virtual tree that gives me pause. After you download the app, you have to do a digging motion to make the hole, plant the seedling, then shake your phone to create a rain storm, so your seedling will start to grow. You keep repeating this until your tree is full sized.

There are enough people walking around my Manhattan neighborhood while jabbering on their hands-free cellphone devices, or worse, with those bizarre Bluetooth gizmos clipped to their ears. I can just see all the iPhone users in Central Park engaged in some weird form of iKung Phu as they plant their virtual cypress trees.

Okay, so I’m being grumpy. But apparently, the iPhorest idea originated at a TED conference. TED is supposed to be about inspired ideas from the world’s leading thinkers and doers. Nice try guys. But I’d be more inspired if you could come up with an app that automatically plants a tree every time we turn on our iPods or boot up our MacBook Pros. Now that would reforest the world in a hurry.