Find Out About Anything… Anywhere.

21 08 2006

Early in our August Community Networks Forum (where the current theme is m-learning), respected educator Stephen Downes made this comment:

I think the killer educational resource for PDAs (and esp. pre-packaged content for PDAs) will be photo-recognition.

When the built-in or string-camera in the PDA is presented with an object (say, a flower) it will be able to recognize the object and present appropriate learning materials (matched to the person’s previous learning, etc) and materials from the community.

That thought was eerily prophetic… for last week, Google annouced that they had bought photo-recognition software company Neven Vision, a company that produces a product called i-SCOUT, which they describe as a “visual Google”:

The image recognition algorithms can recognize anything from an ipod to a picture of the Mona Lisa to the flower in the above picture. Link this to a database of images and you have yourself a pretty nifty search platform for anyone sporting a camera phone.

Perhaps one day, we may have mobile devices capable of telling us what we’re looking at and providing us with learning opportunities relating the world around us to the learning paths we’ve set for ourselves:

It’s the ultimate fulfilment of situated, immersive, contextualised and connected learning, and it could be just around the corner…

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30 08 2006
Mobile Learning » The Future of M-Learning

[…] My ultimate vision for m-learning is a personal, connected mobile device that provides a full range of connected information and communications services, providing a learner with contextualised, situated learning opportunities through a real-world interface (whether this is achieved through a symbology such as 2D Barcodes, or through image recognition as hypothesised by Stephen Downes). […]

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