Convergent and Divergent Product Technology

Convergent and Divergent Product Technology

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Convergent and Divergent Product Technology

Every day we encounter different convergent and divergent products. Some people like the idea of a do everything Personal Digital Assistant, while others enjoy different products used for different things. Convergence can be defined as the occurrence of two or more things coming together. On the other hand, divergence is the tendency to move apart or evolve in different directions. In the instance of modern-technologies and their use in the information age, convergence and divergence play a large role in how new products are manufactured and marketed. There are many examples throughout history demonstrating the evolution of products in terms of convergence and divergence. Evolution of products leads to the current products on the market. These current products and historical trends of product evolution can give us an insight into what is in-store for the future of various forms of media. The dynamic innovations of convergent and divergent products continue to change throughout the information age.

We can gain an understanding of how current forms of convergent and divergent media have come to be through a tour of a brief historical retrospect. Early on, accessible public technology was limited to the radio, television, and telephone. Each form of media was known as a divergent product. People seemed rather content with this simple way of living and had no trouble doing one thing at a time. Perhaps the first known convergence was the TV dinner. Families could now multitask; they could watch television and eat their meal in front of the television. As humorous as this may seem as a form of technology, this way of thinking paved the way for modern convergent products. Not until technologies became available in the nineties did convergent products become the norm. With the development of the laptop, the cellular phone, and the walkman people started to understand the potential of transportable and compactable technologies. These early technological breakthroughs became more advanced and people demanded more features. In time, these features would transform divergent products into convergent products.

An evolution of convergent and divergent technologies has brought the market for divergent technologies into the information age. Soon, the radio could play cassettes and compact discs, the television could play VHS-tapes and DVDs, and the cellular phone can do just about anything. The laptop originated this convergent phenomenon with the competition of its size. Laptops became so small that they were deemed the name palm-pilot sometime in the mid-nineties due to the ability to fit in one’s palm.

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This kind of Personal Digital Assistant was originally used as an organizer and scheduler for corporate executives. Again, the competition became stiff and the PDA became a convergent technology when such features as the internet, mp3 capabilities, video imaging, and gaming technology became available for the mini computer. For instance, the Tungsten 3 by PalmOne (PalmOne Tungsten T3) has anything you could ever want in a digital device. This product is an example of the term convergence. It contains computing abilities, is Word, Excel, and PowerPoint compatible, it can play mp3s, take pictures, store video clips, and connect to the internet. What could possibly be in store as the future of convergent technology approaches?

Only by observing the history, evolution, and current convergent and divergent products can we determine what changes will occur to future forms of media. One could only fathom what kind of brilliantly small yet amazingly powerful devices hold in store for us as the general consumer. Ever shrinking computers and the development and implementation of inexpensive technology means that devices will have more applications, appeal to a broader market and be less expensive. This means that in a few years time, nearly everyone in the world will have their own personal digital attachment that they can not live without. What use would a cell phone, an mp3 player, even laptops be if products can ergonomically and inexpensively contain all three. Maybe some day in the future, but as of now it is the opinion of many that different devices have different applications and no matter how small or cool the technology, divergence is the way to go. People believe it is just too hard to use that many things in one device, the pointer is too small; the handwriting software is too difficult. Until there is a better way, divergence will compete with convergence to win the heart of the consumer, but eventually, convergence will rule the small device realm.

The astounding improvements of convergent and divergent devices continue to change throughout the information age. From the early days of technological advancement through the beginning of the information age, the divergent products ruled the high tech market. The increase in the demand for technological compatibility has seen the birth of the first convergent products. Today, with enough money, you could get a device small enough and with enough features to contain anything you would ever need.


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