In 2007 Nokia launched a mock tailoring site, called Henry Needle & Sons, to promote the Nokia N95. The site highlighted the N95’s all-in-one prowess by joking about people needing bigger pockets to hold all their gadgets. I remember thinking that in the future all my needs would be met by a single pocket-friendly device and to some extent that has happened — but something odd has happened too.
Convergence has bred a sort of anti-convergence. I have my all-in-one phone but I’m also surrounded by a bag-load of standalone devices that offer better but larger offerings. It seems that access to more features on my phone has made me and a lot of my friends yearn for even more. So we invest in devices such as netbooks, compact DSLRs and HD camcorders because they offer a better experience.
Re-enter Henry Needle & Sons. If we’re not prepared to accept larger, more ridiculous pockets, then can the all-in-one dream ever exist? Most pundits will concur that a good camera needs a large lens, a good computer needs a decent processor, graphics card, bucket-loads of memory — the list goes on. I may be wrong but I think that true convergence, the type I dreamed about, may never come about.
What do you think? Will there be an all-in-one device to satisfy all our needs one day, or will we always need two or three devices to keep us happy?