Device Convergence, Harmony or discord?


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I struggle to consolidate devices (hence my tome “The Syncverse.”) It comes from a conversation I had a long time ago with a fellow technologist who talked about the value of a Swiss army knife. One device that does everything but really does nothing well. I’ve thought about that for a long time, and of course end up with a number of devices to do specific tasks. Some of it is that I end up getting a lot of devices so it doesn’t cost me anything. The other side of this is of course the concept of what I am trying to do.

In the Syncverse essays I walked through the esoteric reasons for building the Syncverse. The high minded, high brow concepts that I felt conveyed the overall value of both my dream and my message. But within the concept of bringing all my media together is the expanding concept of what I need from devices. Devices that converge technologies have an issue. Do you give up functionality in one area, or both areas. It is hard to cram essential things into a single device. But that gap of functionality is decreasing. I’ve had a police/fire/weather scanner for years.

Now I can have that on my Windows Phone 7 device. Not just programmed for the location I am in, but programmed as a real emergency device, using my location to find the local streams for me. That makes that device more useful than the traditional scanner I now have sitting on my dresser in the bedroom. Yes the hardware scanner is better because in the long run I can use it to cover more things. But the new converged device makes a difference. It actually provides a service (localization) that the other device doesn’t have today.

As the Swiss Army knife view of convergence deceases (and we have more functionality in the new converged device then we did in the old device) it leads me to think about technologies that benefit from this new model. The more people that can use something, the faster innovation of that “functionality” is.

Solution Improved? Notes
Police and Fire Scanners yes improved more portable and location based huge improvement – now the reception quality of the cellular device becomes more critical
Radio from HD and Satellite to streaming radio has come a long way – Radio with no tuner – amazing! Now you don’t need an antenna, just a connection to the internet
GPS the smaller they get the more features they seem to have You can now have GPS systems that connect to SPOT, have Satellite images and weather

There are of course a number of things that don’t do as well converged. The thing that intrigues me is the new combinations that are coming out. Escort has a new device that is both a 3d GPS and a Radar detector for you car. A combination of two things you wouldn’t normally see, but highly effective and a great value solution.

There in lies the mystery here. What are the new value solutions that we could consider?

 

.doc

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