What is Convergence?

My father always referred to the television as the idiot-box. When I started to get involved with computers, which at that time shared the same cathode-ray-tube-based display technology, I reckoned they were the antithesis of this and I called them brain-boxes.


These days however the distinction is none to clear. The TV has become a brain-box with internet-connected multimedia and a wide range of options for manipulating it. The PC, on the other hand, is struggling to maintain its former position as the brainy one, particularly as browsing the Internet is more than 50% of its duties and a lot of the Internet is rubbish.

The fact of course is that these two technologies have undergone convergence. The same device can now be used to watch television or movies, via the airwaves or via high-bandwidth Internet. Televisions now have operating systems as complex as many tablet computers.

Sound and video technologies have also undergone convergence. Physical media, like tapes, CD’s, DVD’s are disappearing. Digital formats can be accessed and played back by a large variety of device types.

The term ‘mobile phone’ is now mostly a misnomer. What we call mobiles are really personal digital assistants (PDA’s) or maybe portable media players (depending on your age). Mobile phones, mobile media players and a variety of other devices (camera, GPS, barcode/QR code scanner, card scanner, health monitor, voice recorder, alarm clock, projector and so on) have undergone convergence into a single device.

Perhaps in the future, we’ll see the convergence of the mobile phone with drone technology. It will be self-mobilising. You’ll never misplace it. It will simply come when called. A single command will have it follow you everywhere.  You can send it on missions (“Drone, go to the café and pickup the coffees”) or just tell it to gain elevation if you’re somewhere where the signal is poor.

The word ‘android’ comes from the Greek meaning man-like. Think about it; Google knew what they were doing when they named their operating system.

Baw Baw IT are expert in the convergence of business information systems and surveillance systems. In the past, business computers and CCTV were completely separate. These too have converged and you might be amazed and the level of interoperability. Contact us if you’d like to know more.

Look out for signs of convergence and see where they’re going. Convergence is both a cause and a symptom of social, cultural and business disruption.

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