Look How Far We’ve Come…

Japan to get cellphone ‘sommeliers’: official – Yahoo! News:

Japan is to start licensing cellphone “sommeliers” to guide consumers through complicated functions as mobile telephones become ever more advanced, an official said Monday.

The communications ministry said it was planning to support a private-sector plan to launch an exam to license specialists who sell cellphones. “We hope they would be able to explain complicated functions and charge systems to consumers, much like wine sommeliers guiding you,” a ministry official said.

You can look at this a couple of ways. You can think, “oh, those quirky Japanese and their phones.”

Or, you can see it as a sad indictment of how complicated, confusing and non-user-friendly mobile devices, services and tariffs are when you need a certified “expert” to explain them to normal people. Is the solution to train more experts, or to make things easier to understand and use?

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