26 Jun 2009

How cell phones will replace learning

The day is coming when the cell phone will be the dominant tool for accessing information. Announcements this week about Microsoft's Bing 411 and the Palm Pre suggest we're getting there fast, write columnist Mike Elgan.


"Can you fly that thing?" Neo asks Trinity in the original Matrix movie, referring to a nearby military helicopter. "Not yet," she replies. Then she whips out her cell phone, hits speed-dial and says, "Tank, I need a pilot program for a B-212 helicopter. Hurry!" Tank pushes a few buttons and starts downloading skill and knowledge into Trinity's brain. Seconds later, Trinity is flying like a pro.

The idea of using a cell phone for prosthetic knowledge is precisely where we're headed. In fact, we're getting there fast.