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Home  >  Topics  >  Bizarre Beat

April 01, 2011
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Tim Dees Police Tech & Gear
with Tim Dees

A difficult assessment made easy with CDI Factor iPhone app

Editor’s Note: Before you go writing me or the author of this column any angry emails, please note the date of publication — April 1, 2011. Now, enjoy a chortle or a chuckle courtesy of the PoliceOne Editorial Team. Happy April Fool’s Day!

Police officers all around the world have always found it difficult to determine the relative attractiveness and panache of their appearance and gear. A key component in making this assessment is the CDI Factor (a.k.a. the “Chicks Dig It Factor”). Now, for the first time, the CDI factor of any aspect of appearance or behavior can be measured precisely with an iPhone app from OMG Industries.

The CDI app uses the various sensors of the iPhone and information stored on it to measure the coolness of items such as aviator sunglasses and custom pistol grips. The user begins with calibrating the iPhone to determine his baseline gnarliness by photographing himself in a mirror using the iPhone camera. In this photo, only the most basic items of attire should be worn — a basic uniform or a coat and tie, depending on assignment. The baseline can also be set manually by positioning a slider along a scale on the iPhone screen between “perfect” and “douchebag.”

The user can then add items that he believes will enhance his coolness. Items should be added one at a time for best results. Standard sunglasses are ‘modestly bitchin’ but properly-worn Gargoyles raise the number markedly. Be cautious so as not to overload the app. Reckless introduction of a six-inch .44 revolver in a shoulder holster — shoulder holsters are well-known for their high CDI factor — will crash the app unless the “Eastwood” preset is applied.

Early iPhone 4 models were plagued with poor reception due to the antenna embedded in the metal rim around the display. This deficiency has been turned into an asset. The same rim is used by the app to measure electrical resistance in the user’s body and determine total percentage of body fat. Measurements in excess of 25 percent disable the app altogether — after all, why bother? — while those under 10 percent double any CDI factor reading.

Because voice quality has such a significant impact on the awesomeness of the individual, the app provides for audio input. Any spoken words will do. Voice quality is measured against a scale with Isaiah “Old Spice Guy” Mustafa at the upper end and Gilbert “Former AFLAC Duck” Gottfried at the bottom. In the alternative, the user can karaoke the Barry White song of his choosing and the app will derive the correct measurement.

A CDI factor is not absolute — one chick may award a high factor, while another is unimpressed. The CDI factor app allows for this, providing settings varying between “Valley Girl,” “Barmaid,” “Coffee Shop Waitress,” “ER Nurse,” and “Cougar.” If the user is unsure which setting is most appropriate, an “auto” setting uses orbiting GPS satellites to select the best setting for the environment. North of the 49th parallel, a hockey jersey will produce a significant CDI increase.

A DDI (Dudes Dig It) Factor app is already in the works for female officers and is expected to be available for download later this afternoon, and because OMG Industries is based in San Francisco — as is PoliceOne — the company has taken into consideration all alternative lifestyles and preferences. All CDI calculations are adjusted accordingly if the iPhone has any episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show or Glee downloaded from iTunes. If both are present, any considerations of gender are ignored completely.

There are no plans to offer the CDI factor app for the Android platform, as the possession of an Android phone results in a negative CDI factor all by itself.


About the author

Tim Dees is a writer, editor, trainer, and former law enforcement officer. After 15 years as a police officer with the Reno Police Department and elsewhere in Northern Nevada, Tim taught criminal justice as a full-time professor and instructor at colleges in Wisconsin, West Virginia, Georgia, and Oregon.

He was also a regional training coordinator for the Oregon Dept. of Public Safety Standards & Training, providing in-service training to 65 criminal justice agencies in central and eastern Oregon.

Tim has written more than 300 articles for nearly every national law enforcement publication in the United States, and is the author of The Truth About Cops, published by Hyperink Press. In 2005, Tim became the first editor-in-chief for Officer.com, moving to the same position for LawOfficer.com at the beginning of 2008. He now writes on applications of technology in law enforcement from his home in SE Washington state.

Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in biological science from San José State University, a master’s degree in criminal justice from The University of Alabama, and the Certified Protection Professional credential from ASIS International. He serves on the executive board of the Public Safety Writers Association.

Dees can be reached at tim.dees@policeone.com.

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