A Robot in Every Home

Bill Gates writes in Scientific American: “The robotics industry…is developing in much the same way that the computer business did 30 years ago. Think of the manufacturing robots currently used on automobile assembly lines as the equivalent of yesterday’s mainframes. The industry’s niche products include robotic arms that perform surgery, surveillance robots deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan that dispose of roadside bombs, and domestic robots that vacuum the floor. Electronics companies have made robotic toys that can imitate people or dogs or dinosaurs, and hobbyists are anxious to get their hands on the latest version of the Lego robotics system.”

Gaming and Learning

John Hagel blogs about a Wired article on Warcraft and writes:

Educational institutions are becoming progressively marginalized as it becomes apparent that learning is a life-long undertaking and that the success of all of our institutions hinges on the ability to support learning activity. As the working paper makes clear, the most valuable learning is certainly not at the level of compartmentalized skills; it is much more about developing and evolving appropriate dispositions and the ability to integrate in new ways, as suggested by the notion of conceptual blending.

The irony, and the tragedy, is that MMOGs may promote this kind of learning far better than our educational institutions. These institutions may be so broken that it may be much more productive to design and deploy new institutional frameworks and practices to foster this different form of learning rather than trying to implant it into existing institutions.

Nokia Nseries Phones

Rudy De Waele has a nice overview of the N80i, N73, N91 and the N93. “What makes Nokia Nseries different from many other devices is the fact they all are multi-functional. Every device brings quite advanced features like high-resolution camera sensors, powerful music codecs, FM radio and 3D graphic support for games. To differentiate products within the product family, devices can carry unique experiences like digital TV reception to device, optical zoom for camera, or hard disk drive to store large number of songs on device.”