Thursday, July 14, 2011

Convergence: Gadget Killer.....NOT!

Electronics have found their way into our daily lives that we can't even imagine a day without our dearly beloved gadgets. Having once been a self-confessed gadget-freak, I would always get my hands on the latest and coolest gizmos, be it cell phones, PDAs, music players, cameras, laptops and what not. I never really had a problem about lugging around all these hi-tech toys with me (short of being Inspector Gadget's female counterpart), except that it could get quite heavy sometimes.

Nowadays though, we no longer have to worry about carrying a bag full of gadgets as we are moving towards a world where all these pocket and purse-dwellers merge into one device. All our gadgets are being integrated into a single, super functional device such as our cell phone. Now phones are packed with features not only of the gadgets I mentioned earlier but also of gaming consoles, TVs, radios and even GPS. Talk about gadget convergence at its finest!

The convenience of having only one go-to device to handle the functions of three or more is the main reason why these hybrid gadgets have become an instant hit. The cost savings of buying and using just one device in lieu of multiple devices and services adds further appeal.

With increased functionality and sophistication, though, comes complexity, confusion, and a demand for power that batteries can't keep up with. Too many rounds of, say, Angry Birds might leave you high and dry when it's time to make that very important phone call. Also, despite an exhaustive list of functions that these uber high-tech gizmos may serve, they most often than not perform only a half-assed job at each. This is best illustrated by the camera built into these gadgets. Though such may come in handy for spur-of-the-moment or unexpected events, it still doesn't come close to a digital camera. This just shows that though these ultra-converged gadgets can complement, and maybe at times even replace standalones, they can never truly compete with the latter.

Convergence is good but it can never really render dedicated electronic devices obsolete for the simple reason that these devices will always be better at doing specialized things. This is why I still prefer having separate gadgets. For me, they're still worth the slight inconvenience and extra clutter.

Entry #4

No comments: