We’ve been hearing for two decades now about television/computer/Internet convergence. Televisions sets today are advanced digital products, and we connect computers and specialized set-top boxes to ‘em, but they’re still primarily display devices.
In his biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson writes that Jobs ““very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant.”
Jobs told Isaacson that “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”
More on the Jobs/Apple vision of convergence here.
I’m imagining a media device that, like the Internet, swallows all other forms: television set, movie theatre, stereo, juke box, etc. But it would also be interactive, a window on the rest of the world. This isn’t exactly cutting edge – those who think about such things expected it before now.
Phi Beta Iota: Our own collective epiphany (translation for Democrats: “aha”) came in connection with the Contact endeavors of Doug Rushkoff, where we realized that connectivity comes first, and that public intelligence will evolve from that, not the other way around. HOWEVER, apart from Range Networks, we see no one seriously pursuing the OpenBTS “dumb” cell phone for free or $2 a month maximum (subsidized in the Third World), nor have we been successful at breaking through to the Vatican (read letter) or Sir Richard Branson (read one-pager), both of whom could have come together in Assisi to converge connectivity with the eradication of secular corruption.