Obama team launch inaugural app

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iol scitech Inaugural 2013 AFP A shopper holds a US President Barack Obama button at the opening of the Official Inaugural Store in Washington.

Washington - Organisers unveiled the first-ever smartphone app for a US presidential inauguration on Monday, allowing users to track Barack Obama's swearing in, sign up for events and check maps for the closest toilets.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee's debut application for iPhone and Android users provides a front-row seat for people not in Washington on January 21, while offering tips to attendees on how to navigate the vast security apparatus set up for the big day.

It will also provide live-stream video of Obama's swearing in for a second term, locations of viewer access points, schedules for events nationwide, and historical facts and figures about the 56 previous presidential inaugurations.

“This inauguration is a celebration of the American people,” PIC president Steve Kerrigan said in a statement.

“That's why we've designed our app to make sure folks across this country don't miss a moment of history.”

The Inaugural 2013 app can also sync with Facebook, Twitter and email, and will be able to operate offline, without a data connection, according to the committee.

“This is the first official smartphone app built for a presidential inauguration,” said Nate Lubin, PIC digital director.

“We wanted to build a tool that will enable us to reach new people in new ways. This app does just that.”

The app is one of two mobile device programs for the inauguration. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies also unveils its interactive app on Monday, to be available for download from the www.inaugural.senate.gov website.

The PIC app provides users around the nation with a way to locate volunteer opportunities so they can participate in the National Day of Service on Saturday in the run-up to the swearing in.

The program also lists the nearly two dozen items that will be prohibited within the inaugural viewing area, including backpacks, strollers, umbrellas and laser pointers. - Sapa-AFP

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