Thursday, January 03, 2013

2013...Finally Convergent!

There were two things which really brought home that finally, after ten or more years of talking about it, we will have a meaningful convergence of internet devices.

In 2005 people were talking about the big year for convergence: internet TV, TV with PC cards, and your toaster running http.

But somehow it did not happen quite quickly enough.

What did we expect from convergence and what can we actually define the term by?

Well my own definition is that yes, our communication devices become on line, all time. But more over the operating systems and inter-compatibility becomes seamless in appearance and cross device functionality. Basically a PC monitor becomes a TV, that TV gets a touch screen, that touchscreen is down sized to a tablet, that tablet is just a big mobile which you also have.

The big move I hear on the BBC today is Ubuntu running on mobiles. Mobiles have actually been powerful enough to run pretty good windows GUI type environments for a while, it was just that no one wanted to release a windows 3.11 or apple OS6 on a mobile. Unebknown to me, it is linux at the base of Android OS. So now that phones are all powerful, you can install and run Ubuntu, and then the writers have to follow suite and run a device detect, or make a special downsized version for the small screen or expect the hardware to handle it out to a HDMI screen.

The next thing will be semi intelligent, "thin client" remote devices such as blue tooth touch pads/keyboards/scribes, mobile mini dialer handpieces, more advance headset/handsfri, and most of all mobiles.

The next big revolution is already there and has been for a long time with the military and plane transport: talk. The internet for now is a visual-touch interaction by in large. Sound is for basic alerts and entertainment. Although handsets and tablets now have uptime link to google oral translation and text reading, the ability for you to get richer non visual information is there and will get bigger.

Also this lends itself to convergence of more devices: cameras which talk their exposure settings ac focal range to your ear piece, toaster which e-mail you when they are done, voice mail on facebook, notebook apps with voice to text on just about anything,

Talking web sites is something I wanted to do as a charity project when I was an internet project manager, but in its own right, to do it right and cover even a basic description which is comprehensible, it is actually a pretty major undertaking. However the tablet interface with rumble response lends itself much better to a more user guided non visual interaction with the media, which is intuitive for blind people and becomes so as an aid or just pleasure for sighted people.

Shut your eyes people, the internet is right in front of you.....

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