Wow. What a timely article to read for class! I recently began working for a company that is selling a “convergence” product in Seattle. I don’t know if anyone has heard of 4G Wimax internet, but that is what this is. All of the information will be traveling through Wimax, ‘Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access.’ The definition for Wimax is “a telecommunications technology providing wireless data, voice and video over long distances.” This means that Seattle (and more and more cities) will have city-wide hot spots and people will be able to connect just about anything wireless to the Wimax technology. Before, this wasn’t possible because wi-fi was measured over feet and couldn’t handle that much data, but now it’s measured in miles and has unlimited data transfer capabilities! What does this mean? Well, you can have a wi-fi connected fridge (with its own IP address) and an app on your iPhone that will allow you to see what is in your fridge when you’re shopping at the grocery store. You can have a freezer-oven, that you can program to turn on 1 hour before you get home from work, to start roasting your turkey before your arrival. Add GPS to the equation and the the oven will turn on by itself just by tracking how far away you are from the house. The possibilities are endless. Hearing that and reading this article, it was just so interesting to see the 2006 predictions.
The bundle concept of “fixed and mobile telephony, broadband internet access and television” is also something that those selling the new product have to factor into the equation of buyer mentality. Everyone likes the one-stop-shop provider that gives them all that they need in terms of technology services. They also rely on the discounts of purchasing the bundle package. So the difficulty of breaking into the current monopoly (of providers) is to battle this issue. Since my company can only provide mobile internet and mobile voice service (home and cell in one), I was wondering how the lack of television service can be addressed. But then I concluded that since online TV is so popular these days (and will only be getting more popular with the coming years), would cable TV even be a demand? We have on demand Hulu and Netflix to take place of the endless amounts of channels we probably rarely watch.
The final thought is that convergence equals convenience and convergence is definitely here.
1. What bothers you about the convergence taking place in the technology world?
2. In what ways has convergence of technology made your life easier or more convenient?