I believe good example of convergence comes through the evolution of smartphones such as Apple’s modal iPhone device. Convergence is the combination of both new and old media which merges into a single piece of media work. Smartphones are a great example of different media products and technology coming together to form a device capable of different functions. They have become minicomputers due to their advancements.
Technological convergence applies in many different ways to smartphones as most of the device’s functions are already digitalised.
Originally telephones were only capable of one function, audibly contacting people from one place to another. Then mobile phones allowed people to call then text anywhere. These days’ smartphones are capable of these functions and more. Saving and collecting contact information automatically making it easier and faster for the user to contact others.
Also smartphones are now capable of audio and visual contact with others from all over the world with programmes such as Facetime and Skype. This allows the user to communicate with others in a different and perhaps easier way.
ITunes is another example of technological convergence. Prior to iTunes many people purchased music through stores such as HMV (remember this?) or downloading illegally. However, iTunes allows the user to buy and download music, DVD’s, books, podcasts etc anywhere making it easier for audience to engage with these media forms.
I believe the App store is another form of technological convergence. Prior to its existence, information within most apps was found in books, websites and other separate forms. For example, gaming apps like chess originated from board games. Now users can play it anytime with multiple players or with the computer itself, giving more accessibility to the app.
Camera’s are another major convergent of smartphones. Prior to this, cameras were bought separately. However, after being introduced into mobile phones they became used constantly for taking photos and videos on social network applications such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Snapchat. Cameras converging with smartphones has opened up a new form of communication for user introducing a new way to socialize. Arguably this convergence has been essential for the popularity of many smartphone apps. For users It become easier and cheaper as the technology was always in one place, the smartphone.
The Internet was another convergent of smartphones. Originally smartphones did not have access to the internet, limiting their capabilities. However, after the massive changes the internet made on the world as well as technological advances, the smartphones were able to access to the internet allowing the development of apps for users as well as easy access to large amounts of data and information.
I believe these are some of the convergences made with smartphones. Of course there are many more. What do you think was a major convergence of the smartphone?