Silent auctions. There's an app for that.

BY November 15, 2011

Technology is infiltrating virtually every aspect of life. Want proof?

The time-honored tradition of walking around a silent auction table at a benefit has now become unnecessary. We were at the NCH Hospital Ball recently (looking sharp, in case you were curious) and, as soon as we checked in, were handed an iPod.

At first we thought this was the best swag ever, but then an event volunteer explained that it was a BidPal, an iPod app that knows who you are and instantly updates bids on every item available that night.

 From item descriptions to current bids to alerts that you’ve been outbid, BidPal is the future of fundraising.

When you check in, you have the option of inputting your credit card info so that you can just grab and go at the end of the evening—no waiting in line to write a check. Truly express checkout.

True, if you are obsessed with an item you might be deemed a rude table companion by ignoring those around you and staring zombie-like into a glowing screen, but you really really need that spa day for you and 10 of your closest friends. If there is one downside, it is that you can’t use the excuse of checking on your bids to get away from boorish table companions.

And yes, we do see the irony of health care folks giving us another reason to stay sedentary, but organizers countered it with an awesome night of dancing. Too bad they didn’t let us keep the iPods.

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