in Tech

Tech Convergence

I’ve been thinking recently about the convergence of technology. Specifically, the idea of multiple gadgets being squished into one unit. Cell phones with cameras are an obvious example. In fact, cell phones are at the root of a lot of convergence. Think of how often new devices are described that way: “It’s a cell phone that plays iTunes songs.” or “It’s a cell phone with PDA functions.”

I tried to think of what gadgets I’d gotten rid of through convergence. My cell phone has a very basic low quality camera that I sometimes use, but it isn’t even remotely functional enough to make me toss my standalone camera. I stumbled around the recesses of my mind for a while, trying to figure out something I’d gotten rid of thanks to convergence.

Then, I had an a-ha moment: I no longer own a stereo.

Well, perhaps that isn’t entirely true. I own one, but it is still in my parents’ house a thousand miles away – it didn’t make the move with me. Instead, I have a decent set of speakers hooked up to my computer and iTunes. For the rare time I need to listen to ‘normal’ broadcasts, I use a clock radio. I hadn’t even really noticed the change, but when I think back to middle school a decade ago – 12 year old me could never imagine living without something so basic as a stereo.

I wonder what else I’ve forgotten using, or will in the future.

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  1. Along the same lines, I feel like the TV is going the same route. Granted, we still have a TV here at home, but the last four years at college I got by just fine without one, and I don’t plan on getting one when I move out for grad school in a few months. I can get my news online, my favorite shows online, and watch DVDs using my computer too. Granted, a nice big HDTV flat panel display would be nice to have, but I’d probably end up just hooking it up to my computer anyway. 🙂

  2. I’m not quite ready to ditch my TV, I enjoy channel surfing too much 🙂