Monday, September 18, 2006
Looking at the current trends in new technology, four themes seem to emerge. These are convergence, portability, pervasiveness and transparency. They group quite conveniently into two pairs. Convergence refers to the capacity to integrate technological functions in a single device. So our phone doubles up as camera, MP3 player and so on - or our home media system deals with music, TV, telephonics and email. The general direction of convergence is to allow for access to multiple media from one source. This pairs up with portability, because as devices become more compact and wireless becomes more affordable and more ubiquitous the possibilities of being able to use all media, more or less at any time or place increase. There is a natural link here with pervasiveness. Pervasiveness suggests that digital technologies will feature in more and more areas of everyday life, becoming closely interwoven with the way we get things done. As this pervasiveness increases it is likely that technological innovation will focus on making devices and their interfaces more transparent in ways that touch screens, and desktop icons begin to suggest.