This is not a new concept or a new thought. Technologies converge all the time. Infact, this is true for everything related to science. One man makes something, someone else makes another. A third person creates a device that uses both these technologies along with a few parts made for some other purposes and voila! We have a unified product.
Mobile is the biggest example of that. It has unified so many different products and killed a few industries along the way.
This though, seems like the ugly side (useful, yet killing off old tech). There is another aspect of unification of technology. This is interdependent operability. Something like a computer attached to a projector. Both can work independently but we can combine them to create a giant screen computer. These days, mobile and laptops are integrated to the degree that one can close a browser in his mobile and open it in the computer and vice-versa.
This is just the beginning though. If anyone has seen Iron Man (either of the movies) then I think that should be the ultimate goal for now for the companies to achieve. And I am not talking about the reactor that Mr. Stark built. There is one more subtle technology that permeates throughout the movies that is in my opinion equally potent as is the arc reactor.
‘Jarvis’ is the name of the computer system that controls Iron Man’s home. This is basically an AI based on a set of algorithms. These algorithms have a set of commands that cannot be broken (like order from Iron Man) and rest it does by itself or on orders. The AI shown is not like of the Skynet type (Terminator) but more like a faithful servant connecting all the equipment.
Now, I maybe a little over optimistic here but with Android setting up a siege in TVs, Cameras and other devices like Cars or Fridge, the time will not be far when you could shut your fridge from your phone. These things can still be done but costs are prohibitive and thus are just prototype. There are houses whose windows can be opened and doors can be locked by Automation. Google is also taking the initiative to create a completely automated car!
Now, add to that these 3 technologies.
- Microsoft Kinect.
- Google Now.
- Google Smart Glass.
The top two technologies are basically two ways to input data. One is gesture based and other voice commanded. Suddenly, a man can input data without typing a single letter.
In your house, you just move your hand in a certain way and your TV starts. Another way and your heater increase the temperature a notch. You can tell your radio to just shut up or your washing machine to start.
The third is a way to access data. Still in its nascent stage, it is creating ripples across the board. It is a Google project so it is expected to be of a top-notch quality. Whether it succeeds is a different matter for now.
Still, it is not difficult to envision a house like that or a car that can run by itself. If anyone goes back 10 years or 20 years, this kind of technology was rarely even though about.
If I can envision this, it means that it is closer than it looks. Maybe it is costly and will start with the upper class to adopt this. But, like everything else, the prices go down and soon everyone will get to play with it.
Now, this is a future I can look forward to!