Thursday, February 5, 2009

This is a phone? This is a computer?

David Pogue had a nice piece in the NY Times celebrating a very cool application for the iPhone called Ocarina.

The application lets you hold down virtual "holes" and blow into the device (yes, blow). You are able to create music by doing this. Check out the video:

But there is another cool feature. I'll let Pogue describe it:

If you tap the little globe at the bottom of the screen, the screen changes. Now you see a map of the world--and you start hearing the Ocarina performance of one person, in one city (indicated by animated sound waves on the map), who's playing the thing *right now*. Sometimes it's the halting fumbles of a rank beginner; sometimes it's a lovely melody played by someone who's got the hang of it. You can hit a Next button to tune in to another stranger, and another, all around the world.
It's a brain-frying experience to know that you're listening to someone else playing Ocarina, right now, in real time, somewhere else on the planet. (And then you realize that someone, somewhere might be listening to *you*!)

So, my questions are:
Is this (just) a phone?
What does this mean in terms of using technology for learning/communication/collaboration?

1 comment:

Art said...

I think this is a peek at the future. It won't be long before our primary computing device is our phone. Once Google's Android is ready for prime time the fun will start.