Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Zen and the Death Of Hardware

I remember seeing my first HiFi stack and being awe struck (although some of the shine went when I realised that the amp, turntable, radio and cassette chasis were actually all joined together and not the expensive, separate high tech machines they appeared to be). We have been through an age where hardware has dominated, but the result of convergence is that pretty much every hardware device seems increasingly to do what every other hardware device does.

OK, your iPhone doesn't make tea, but there are plenty of places where you can use it to order tea; now set top boxes are being consumed by LCD screens, there is no longer any need for the satellite receiver, the DVD player, the Blu-ray player and the OTT box, and the cable modem, router and telephone might go the same way.

People (very well, men) like to buy 'stuff'. Now that we can't really soup up cars any more since the engine is sealed and the body work is under warranty what do we do ? The car already has sat nav, voice controlled phone, ninety speakers and a sound system that can bring down buildings.

We are at the beginning of the death of the device. With projectors being added to phones even the need for a screen is becoming marginal.

So, iPods did away with the rows of CDs, eBooks have been the death of my library and internet Tv has led to the demise of my DVD collection. Now the devices that used to serve all these media are morphing into one. Perhaps all we need is an iPad and an empty room....