Single device to rule them all: Will the convergence end?


We are going through a period when devices are into a metamorphosis. During the last era, new technologies came into being. These technologies were camera, Television, VCR, Digital Watches, Walkman and everything in between.

Then came computer and it combined a lot of technologies in it along with creating some new technologies. One could watch a video in a laptop and simultaneously edit one as well. Softwares added a layer of interaction never seen before and internet of course brought a completely new chapter in the story.

And then came the mobiles!

They were devices that in all honesty were just an upgrade from landline phones. Yet, the possibilities that it opened were immense. The ease of use and the advantages made it the most selling device. Even in a country like India, it surpassed bicycles as the most sold device and what’s more, there was a report that mentioned India had more mobile phones than toilets… take that!


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Once upon a time, a mobile could only be used to talk to other people but now, they have evolved to become computers in your hand.

Along with computers, other technologies like camera, GPS, watch, pmp all got roped in and what we have today is a convergent device that has multiple purposes and is eating away market share.

This trend is not just for the mobile, mind you.

Earlier, TV was just a black and white box with few channels to show. Now, Smart TVs are trying to bring internet into the TV. Apps are becoming a part of the television ecosystem as well. Even DTH service might get incorporated in the system (Videocon has already done this).

Point and shoot cameras can record in 720p and Video cameras are seeing an improvement in the quality of pictures they can shoot. Samsung has even launched a camera with Android which has a sim-card slot / internet built-in.

It all points towards a convergence…

Most of it is around internet and app ecosystem. Social is the thread that binds them all. Right now, there are multiple points (aka multiple screen sizes) that are presents. These may or may not converge in themselves. Or maybe some technology comes that makes screen sizes redundant in themselves (I am thinking bendable screens or maybe projectors come into the picture, Pranav Mistry anyone).

One more thing though comes to my mind. Maybe, this convergence stops and divergence begins.

Carrying multiple devices will always be difficult than one, but now that there is one device that is jack of all, the gadgets in their own field will either perish or improve to the extent that they bring something that is not possible in the mobile.

Maybe a far fetched thought, but survival of the fittest is not just for the living.

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