FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, February 21, 2005

Random House Embraces M-Learning

Publishing giant Random House has acquired a minority share in a start-up company called Vocel, which offers educational content to cell phone users. Random House will license two of its product lines to Vocel for cell-phone distribution this summer.

One, Living Language, is a foreign language self-study program. The other, Prima Games, features strategy guides to popular video games. Though most of the content will be text, Living Language will allow users to listen to the correct pronunciation of words. Vocel already offers SAT preparation guides via cell phone.

The services will be available for a monthly fee and will initially be available to Verizon customers, though Vocel is negotiating with other carriers to adopt the service. It will be interesting to see how quickly these services are combined with phone-based video such as VCAST, or whether corporate e-learning developers will take notice.

Sources: New York Times, Smart Mobs