How many top boxes have you got? Are you the proud owner of only one box that catches the eye of your every single whim, or have you got a precipitous and ‘threatening to topple at any moment’ pile of hardware that makes your lounge appear to be a price reduction tech warehouse? The convergence of home technology could be the subject of great importance and debate – how integrated into the house, what could perform without, what couldn’t we even think of living without?
But home technology convergence isn’t just about entertainment systems speaking with your PC, your Xbox streaming films and programs from a computer for television and even switching to VoIP for telephony. Home technology convergence covers a variety of applications in your home – from automated garage doors and lightweight switches activated from an iPhone right through with a fridge that permits you to know when you need more milk.
Home media servers allow you to integrate your entire system right into a DLNA network, allowing you to make use of your PC since your home ‘hub’ for everything technological. The very latest televisions are not only seen HD and 3D ready – they’re also willing to talk back for your computer too, negating the need for cables and linking up via your Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth technology. The computer is taking its rightful place on the very heart of the technological home. Now it’s not just the focal point for downloading data from the Internet and for the youngsters to accomplish their homework on. It’s literally become ‘one from the family’.
The ‘black box’ fallacy
However, in spite of the leaps and bounds stated in-home technology we’re still a considerable ways from the ‘black box’ situation the place that the home’s entire tech is controlled through one central point or ‘black box’. Although many have experimented with develop this, and in spite of the importance of the home PC as being a user interface out of which to conduct an orchestra of home technology, the nearest we’ve probably arrived at any type of multi-tasking central control system may be the ‘universal remote control’. These are handy little gadgets that negate the need for a collection of remotes to your television/Skybox/surround sound system/DVD player (delete as applicable) and provide you with every one of the couch-control you will need in a handy remote. Although just having one remote implies that it’s much easier to lose on the back from the sofa, that is apparently its sole disadvantage.
Slowly but surely, we’re beginning to learn how this modern technology fits together in order to create the greatest ‘smart house’. Whilst voice-activated light switches are nevertheless somewhat of a novelty, it does reveal that we are beginning to appreciate how a convergence of home technology on all levels might make our everyday life a lot easier. It is possible to create a ‘smart house’ where everything works coming from a central computer (from your heating for the sub-woofer levels on your own hi-fi). But for the majority of people, making a smart house according to technological convergence can be a case of piecing together a jigsaw of available and affordable technology after a while.
The real world
The reality is far more organic. Slowly, slowly our homes have become more integrated. The advent of smart technology in particular WiFi has given people who need to ultimately see a true convergence situation the building blocks to attain their goal. WiFi is most likely one of the most important developments in years, allowing a complete place to find become one big transmitter to the movement of digital data from various sources to various outlets.
The providers are catching up too. Whereas once utility companies provided one service such as the telephone landline, they are embracing the thought of Multi-play marketing. Multi-play describes the provision of telecommunication services including telephone, cellular phone services, Broadband Internet access, and television into one bundled package. It may seem like a convenience for the customer, but it really does represent an aspect of home convergence technology. DLNA communications between PCs and digital media outlets including televisions or consoles is yet another aspect, all linking in and interconnecting while using WiFi foundations can be found in many modern homes.
Eventually, the benefit of a single ‘black box’ method is going to be too tempting to resist for the society that is certainly becoming enthusiastic about tech. Some bright spark will build up a smart algorithm that will draw your home tech into one, easy to manage, and great looking ‘home hub’. Indeed, the phrase is already getting used by some providers of telephony, broadband, and digital media packages, and it’s also without a doubt once we develop ever more complex binary networks in our homes, a greater portion of our everyday home technology will slot into its allotted place. The convergence home of the future is closer than we believe…