Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > Miscellaneous > Lounge

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-09-2005, 08:27 PM   #1
Brian
MobileRead Editor
Brian has learned how to buy an e-book online
 
Brian's Avatar
 
Posts: 447
Karma: 84
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Device: Treo 700p, Zodiac2
Editorial: Getting convergence right

There's a very interesting report on convergence by the consulting firm Deloitte titled The trillion dollar challenge: Principles for profitable convergence (PDF). Convergence is happening everywhere. Media Center PCs and next-gen game consoles like Microsoft's XBox 360 and Sony's PS3 will deliver computing, gaming, and home media in a single box. Our mobile devices are providing email, the web, gaming, and portable content in addition to traditional voice and text messaging roles. The iPod started out as a portable music player but continues to become more of a handheld computing platform as contacts, calendars, games, notes, photos and video playback features have been added by the Cupertino computer company. From the report:

Convergence is being driven by three underlying trends. The first is proliferation of digital data, which provides a common base for handling diverse types of information – numbers, words, music, pictures, video, and more – using the same devices, processing techniques, and media. The second is widespread connectivity, which helps bring diverse information together, and extends the value and capabilities of a device beyond its out-of-the-box functionality. The third is continuous advances in technology, from battery life to processor speed.

Convergence is not about cramming as much technology as possible into a device, according to the paper. One of the most important principles of convergence puts the customer first before technology.

Convergence must be driven by customer needs, not technology. It’s easy to get caught up in the amazing things the convergence of technologies can do, but those things only matter when they produce something customers actually want and are willing to pay for.

Mobile computing is entering a new era due to the proliferation of high speed wireless data networks, more powerful and energy efficient mobile processors, better display technologies, more portable content offerings by content providers, and a better mobile web experience as web content and services become optimized for mobile devices. Companies that get convergence right will prosper while those who continue to struggle to find the right balance between technology and meeting their customers' needs will lose out.

Apple, Creative, Dell, HP, Motorola, Palm, Samsung, Sony and many others are all creating converged mobile devices. Which ones are getting mobile convergence right, and which ones aren't? Are devices like the Sony PSP, Palm Treo smartphone, and Creative Zen Vision examples of convergence done right, or do they fall under the jack of all trades, master of none category and put technology before customer needs?
Brian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2005, 09:52 PM   #2
Bob Russell
Recovering Gadget Addict
Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Bob Russell ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Bob Russell's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,379
Karma: 590871
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Device: Note3/DVP11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian
...do they fall under the jack of all trades, master of none category and put technology before customer needs?
Nice post Brian. Gets you thinking the way a good post will do. But I think I don't care for the general perspective on convergence. I think a more basic point keeps getting missed.

I would like to propose a new way of looking at convergence that I've never seen anywhere else. But I think it's an important perspective that will catch on in time.

Consider a device that does more than one thing. The designer has got to choose the following:

PRIMARY PURPOSE
Is it primarily a phone? A game device? A handheld computer? An audio/video player? This is the function that must be easy and seamless. It's what the customer considers most important and primary justification and driver of the purchase. It will also be the feature that determines the form factor and some of the most important hardware/software choices.

For example, an iPod mp3 player may learn to do much more than play music, but it needs to always remember it's primary purpose or no one will want one.

And we are coming to a crossroads in smartphone design. Clearly there is a role for handheld computers that can function as a phone, and also for phones that function as handheld computers. The devices that have a primary function as a phone better have a smaller form factor, probably a smaller screen, and likely no bulky keypad. And it better work great as a phone, even in comparison to standalone phones. The OS version and memory capacity and so forth may be less important on a device that's primarily a phone, but it's critical on a device that's primarily a handheld computer. Conversely, a handheld computer might be a little bulkier but have a great screen. It might be just slightly less easy to dial a phone number, but it still has to be able to get the job done. It just doesn't have to compete as much with standalone phone devices because the customer is just happy to have a great handheld computer and a decent phone.

SECONDARY PURPOSE
The devices secondary purpose makes it a converged device, and also adds significant benefit. Typically, converged devices are likely to have a phone because almost everyone wants to have a cell phone available. But it doesn't have to have a phone. It could follow in the path of the Zodiac. But why did Zodiac fail? A lot of reasons, but one big reason is that it wasn't competitive as a gaming machine in comparison to other standalong portable gaming devices. If nothing else, it didn't have the same mass of titles. Gamers were, in general, not likely to pick a Zodiac. But that was its primary function, so even if it was a great pda it needed to find the gamers as customers and it couldn't do that. The form factor determined its primary function as gaming. A great secondary function (pda) was not enough to save it.

I have yet to see a pda with a great audio/video secondary function. The technology/software just isn't there. Simplicity of use, storage, etc. It's close, but not ready for the average consumer. But I think it could be about now. There should be a great pda out there that's also got a perfect audio/video suite and a simple process for adding content. I think that might have a chance to sell if it was done right and marketed that way. Or maybe not, but at least it would have a targeted market, and people could understand what it is for, and why to buy it. Right now I don't think people realize what pdas can do. Smartphones are only sold because they are phones + something. Usually email or web browsing. Aha, an example of a clear primary/secondary function that meets customer needs. It works and it can sell because it's a clear set of purposes and it's what people want.

OTHER PURPOSES
But even if people are mostly sold on primary/secondary functions, there's still room for additional things. A PalmOS or PPC device should never be sold as a laundry list of functions. But if you sell the primary and secondary funtions firsrt, then when you list all the "other" things it can do, all of a sudden it's a great bonus instead of just confusing the issue of who wants the device in the first place.

CONCLUSION

I'm sure that great minds can put all this into a framework much more polished and useful than what I can describe. But I think it's an important concept to break functionality and purpose of a converged device into primary, secondary and other purposes. That's going to define the device and the market, and people are going to be able to understand why they want it.
Bob Russell is offline   Reply With Quote
Advert
Old 11-10-2005, 05:39 AM   #3
Colin Dunstan
Is papyrophobic!
Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Colin Dunstan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Colin Dunstan's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,926
Karma: 1009999
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: USA
Device: Dell Axim
The way I perceive convergence can be put into one sentence: Convergence is the unstoppable process we see today of converting analogue information, be it of any kind, into digital data. -- Once we have digital data, it's not of importance anymore whether we are processing information with a handheld, a multi-media gaming console, or a coffee maker equipped with some RAM and CPU-processing power.
Colin Dunstan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A question on convergence... jeffcobb Android Developer's Corner 4 10-01-2010 09:09 PM
John W. Campbell Editorial Nate the great Deals and Resources (No Self-Promotion or Affiliate Links) 9 12-26-2008 07:22 PM
Another DRM editorial Taylor514ce News 2 03-24-2008 12:53 PM
RSS is the real convergence medium Colin Dunstan Lounge 0 12-01-2005 05:19 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:50 AM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.