Convergence is the name of the game this Christmas, according to a poll by IBM. The poll states that over half of consumers plan to spend some portion of their holiday budget on consumer electronics, and of that half, two-thirds are looking for products that combine technologies. The changing nature of consumer electronics has always been something that's interested us here at the GoodGearGuide; technologies merge as individual components get smaller and better designed. What used to weigh half a kilogram and strain the seams of all but the largest of pockets now fits in the palm of a hand, plays music and takes photos. What previously was revolutionary in allowing users to capture and store television broadcasts, is now barely more than an addition to powerful, multi-functional recording units. The same technology that provided removable storage for early digital cameras now drives multimedia devices such as the iPod Video. Indeed, the very same item that revolutionised the storage of meat and other perishables is now available with an LCD screen and the internet; a technology originally designed for military purposes.
We can't help but wonder, therefore, where technology will take us next. Can we expect to see television displays that can be rolled up and carried in a pocket? Maybe all-in-one media playback and recording units? Whatever the future holds for technology, the trend now is apparent - multi-purpose functionality is what people are looking for. Versatility, adaptability, convergence - these are the big-sellers, and the products to look out for this Christmas.