It’s the age of technological convergence where one device performs the functions of many
Two-in-ones could be passé, but devices with multiple functions are here to stay, claims a tech fan.
BC: Hi, you were planning to buy a mobile.
AD: I finally chose a phablet.
BC: A what?
AD: It's a phone and a tablet. In terms of size, it could be bigger than a regular smartphone, but smaller than a tablet. And in terms of features and functions...
BC: ...it gives you the best of both worlds.
AD: Isn't that the way the world is going? The mobile phone has already crunched several devices into one — camera, radio, alarm clock, music player, video game player...
BC: ...and of course the phone!
AD: I read an article about camera phones eating into the market share of digital cameras and cellular service providers causing a severe dent in the sales figures of music companies because of mobile downloads.
BC: But then, if you are a true-blue photography enthusiast, you might balk at the thought of a mobile camera taking the place of an SLR...
AD: Absolutely. But this is the age of technological convergence, which results in one device performing the functions of many. Just think of its advantages... We can spend on fewer gadgets, for one.
BC: I was thinking of the hapless folks who have to attend zillions of weddings every year. Now, all their budget gifts like alarm clocks and transistors will go for a toss!
AD: You continue to miss the point rather successfully…
BC: Look, it only complicates things. For instance, I need to buy a new laptop, but you've been insisting that I get myself a tablet. I'm not sure.
AD: Get yourself a tablet PC.
BC: Here we go... What's that supposed to be?
AD: I'm surprised you haven't heard of it — the ads are out everywhere. A tablet PC is a combination of a laptop or a notebook and a touchscreen monitor — so it's...
BC: ...part-tablet and part-computer.
AD: Right. And in some models, you can actually flip, slide, fold, swivel or even remove the display screen and use it separately like a tablet...
BC: Sounds like technology's putting the poor laptop through a gruelling exercise schedule.
AD: Perhaps it's a natural way to get rid of bloatware. Ok, I was kidding. But seriously, can't you find a single positive in these new developments?
BC: I'm worried about what could be next — a microwave and a refrigerator in one? You put in water and open the door a few minutes later, not knowing if you are going to pull out ice or burn your fingers in boiling hot water.
AD: Always the pessimist, huh?
BC: Incidentally, I read a news item claiming that pessimists live longer than optimists. Could it be because we are less dependent on technology?
AD: We began talking about technological convergence, but your kind will lead to a technological exigence.
BC: Well, one thing that technology does create on a regular basis is jargon. There was a time when parallel processing was a buzzword because one machine could do multiple operations simultaneously. Then came multimedia, where various forms of media and technologies could be handled by one device. Guess its technological convergence now.
AD: You should watch an hour of smart TV to find out how television and the Internet can combine to create magic. You'll possibly have a different opinion of technology.
BC: My opinion of technology was formed on the basis of a device that helps me create, calculate, plan, visualise, simulate, organise, delegate, discover, understand, store.
AD: That must be one heck of a computer.
BC: It is, and it is the ultimate example of convergent technology. It's called a brain.