Convergence, or why I never take two bottles into the shower

I’m a big fan of convergence.

Being, by nature, a little bit lazy, I find any duplication of effort irritating. Similarly, if I find I have to carry several mobile devices at the same time, then clearly something is wrong.

The OED defines the verb ‘converge’ as to ‘come together from different directions so as eventually to meet’. In terms of technology and hardware, lines of convergence are clear. Not so long ago, I carried a Nokia 3210 in order to make phone calls, a Windows PDA to use as an electronic organiser and a laptop to provide WiFi or mobile phone web access. In effect, there were two different  and distinct lines of technological development occurring: telephony and computers (CPUs).

Then as technology improved (and so miniaturised further), my phone and PDA converged into a single device, an O2 XDA. This single device is now a Nokia N95 which, with music, video, email, PC sync and GPS, is an incredibly functional piece of kit. But it’s not terrific on web access.

So when my Nokia contract expires next month, I will be upgrading to the iPhone. Why? Because it will do everything I used my Nokia for AND give me ‘always on’ Internet functionality in a Web 2.0 world. For me, the iPhone, by removing the necessity of having a laptop for mobile (non-WAP) web access, offers further convergence.

So my mantra is: the convergence of technologies to provide for my needs continues; the impetus for this convergence comes from my (somewhat indolent) needs as a consumer.

And long may it continue.

Simon Kear

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  1. Topics about Africa » Archive » Give me two bottles

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