Convergence & Computing Technology
Let us Begin with a Puzzle: What are the differences among the following?
- A lecture by Mr. APJ Kalam
- An Electricity bill
- Pictures of your childhood
- A call to your friend
- A grocery list
- A staff meeting in marketing department
- A program in C++
For us, almost of the above items are totally different, but for a computer the above information is same.
In a computer, each item is simply a collection of 1’s and 0’s. Almost everything like text, sound, speech, film, graphics, animations, music can be digitized. Whatever gets digitized, can be presented on a computer and transmitted over a network. Therein lies the future…
In earlier times , telephone , print media, radio , television,films, photographs and computer data were treated as separate entities. But innovations in the late 20th century have led to the merging of many new technologies, viz, computer Technology, Content technology and communication Technology( popularly known as 3 Cs of technologies) into one product or service.
The word convergence means the union or merging of two or more things to make a new entity.
The impact of convergence of technologies in our daily life can be best exemplified with mobile phones. A part from the basic purpose of mobile telephony , the latest cellphones support multiple features like:
The incorporation of all these technologies into a single device has led to the emergence of smart phones, which eliminates the need to carry multiple devices. Technological convergence has beautifully utilized in device like smart phones and tablets, which are being used worldwide because of their amazing features and useful services.
CONVERGENCE OF TECHNOLOGY
Convergence of technology is defined as the interlinking of computing and other information technologies such as media, content and communication networks that has arisen as a result of evolution and popularization of internet as well as activities, products and services in the digital media space. Convergence also refers to the phenomena of group of technologies which are developed for one use but is being utilized in many different contexts.
The convergence of information technology and communication technology has resulted into information and communication Technology (ICT).
Convergence of technology happens due to the digitization of content. The content can be text, graphics, video, animation r audio. Digital technology allows the use of multiple communication modes in a single network.
History of convergence
In 1691, when the verb “Converge” was coined, it implied the tendency of two lines to approach one another, as streams of a river flowing together. Usage of the word converge in 20th century has become broader and primarily stared with the emergence of computers, internet and mobile telephony.
Convergence became possible with the unification of previously distinct products that worked using digital technologies. The process of digital convergence implies that a computer functions like a communicating device and the telephone function like a computer.
Reason of convergence
The rapid advancement in the field of internet along with the emergence of various products and services in the digital media space.
The availability of carrier technology with high bandwidth.
With the help of convergence, devices not only interect with media but are capable to handle a large number of other formats.
Examples of technology Convergence
DVD players are not only capable of playing DVDs, but can also play different formats like music CDs, photo CDs, as well as encoded video formats as DIV or VCD
Technology convergence has produced devices which are designed specially to replace a number of different devices. For example , Smartphone and Tablet PCs
Internet is the best example of technology convergence because almost all the entertainment technologies like radio television.
The 3 Cs of technology Convergence
We can access any information at anytime, and any place. This has been made possible by converging the COMPUTER, CONTENT and COMMUNICATION technologies into a single entity which is popularly referred to as 3Cs of technology.
Computer Technology-In earlier times “computer Centre” used to imply a large room with many computers where people used to bring their data for processing. But with digital convergence, it has evolved towards computer networks with a large number of separate but interconnected computers at single/ multiple locations. Computer networks help in sharing resources like data, programs and equipments with anyone on the same network, irrespective of the physical location of the user and their resources.
Content Technology– it is also refer to as multimedia. Multimedia refers to content that uses a combination of different content forms. This contrasts with media that use only rudimentary computer displays such as text-only or traditional forms of printed or hand-produced material. Multimedia includes a combination of text, audio, still images, animation, video, or interactivity content forms.
Communication technology-Whenever a computer requires multimedia content from a remote computer or a server, this information has to travel through computer networks using some communication technology. If the amount of information is large ,it must be compressed to reduce communication delay. Mobile communication an internet based communication technologies used for the same.
Convergence of technology ensures that the 3Cs converge towards platform independence .it means that a device can access data of any type or any size.
The convergence of 3 Cs has resulted into the following popular value added services:
v E- learning
v Telebanking and Net Banking
v Radio and television on Internet
v Cable TV using Internet
v Video conferencing over internet
Types of convergence
Convergence of technologies has changed the entire scenario of communication. It has transformed our traditional ways to communicate. Now it is more convenient to be in touch with our near and dear ones across the globe. As a result of technological convergence the whole world has transformed into a global village, where cultures are merging and borders are diminishing with each passing day.
The following are the types of convergence:
- Digital Convergence-Digital convergence refers to the convergence of four industries into one conglomerate; ITTCE (Information Technologies, Telecommunication, Consumer Electronics, and Entertainment).This provides new, innovative solutions to consumers and business users. Based on digital technologies and digitized content it encompasses converged devices (such as Smartphone, laptops, internet enabled entertainment devices and set top boxes), converged applications (e.g. music download on PC and handheld) and converged networks (IP networks).Examples of this shifting trend are: Microsoft’s Xbox (From IT to Entertainment), Apple’s iPhone (From IT to Telecomm), and Sony’s Vaio (From Consumer Electronics to IT).
- Messaging Convergence-Messaging convergence integrates SMS with voice, such as Voice SMS (voice instead of text) and SpinVox (Voice to text). Several operators have launched services that combine SMS with Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM).
- Media Convergence-Media Convergence is the concept in which old and new media intersect. It is not just a technological shift or process; it also includes shifts within the industrial, cultural & social paradigms that encourage the consumer to seek out new information.
- Content converge-Content convergence is defined as the portability of content which means that the content cab be mixed and matched to fit new context. It provides an opportunity to individual consumers to interact with others on a social level and create a new experience with the help of various media platforms.
To conclude we can say that technology convergence provides the convenience of having multiple devices in one device, saving on both size and cost to the customers.