I was listening to a piece on NPR this morning about the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The buzz word is convergence. The idea behind convergence is to take all your gizmos and incorporate them into one uber-gizmo. That way, in the palm of your hand, you can watch TV and videos, play interactive games, access the internet, keep your appointments straight, make a phone call, take pictures, play all your favorite tunes and make telephone calls. Probably other stuff as well. I have to admit that once I remarked that I’d like a phone that was a PDA as well. There is limited space in my purse for all this stuff. However, according to polls, most people just want a phone that makes a phone call. And does it well. In fact, one of the reasons that iPods have been so spectacularly successful is that they are simple to use, do the job they were designed to do well and look good doing it.

I’m not sure how I feel about the uber-gizmo. Would I use all the features? Would it be too complex for my over 50 brain to figure out? Would I be able to see all the tiny buttons? Would I have to have short fingernails to use it? I guess if this is the way technology is headed then I’ll have to adapt. A lot of people in the generation ahead of mine haven’t learned to use computers and other electronics. I always find it annoying that John’s dad doesn’t have an answering machine and I can’t send him email. I think we all need to make an effort to stay current with the latest technology or, like the typewriter, we’ll be destined to become antiquated ourselves.

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