Is an All-in-One Device All You Want?

The Promise of Convergence

We’ve all heard the reasons convergence is a good thing: One device rather than many, and the likelihood that the phone in your pocket will get a job done rather than the camera or GPS receiver you left at home because you didn’t think you’d need it.

Convenience Brings Sacrifice

If all-in-one devices promise convenience, they also bring with them some sacrifice. Lots of accessories can bring an iPhone closer to the feature set of a full camera, but it gets heavier and bulkier as they’re added, and still can’t do all the things that a camera like the Nikon P7100 can.

The Future of Convergence

All-in-one devices do a lot of things fairly well, but it’s rare that they fully replace single purpose devices like cameras. That may change in years to come, but remember, those individual devices will be advancing at the same rate. Convergence may always sound better than it actually is.


  1. says

    One of the reasons why we don’t see such a HUGE influx of convergence is that usability factor. In John’s example, pushing a button on your key chain to unlock the front door, or open the garage is much more usable than, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, (cancel cuz I don’t want to connect to a wireless network in the area), swipe, tap, wait, click unlock.

    From a usability standpoint, I’d already be inside, soaking in a hot tub, listening to Ray Charles and sipping a boston iced tea if I’d had just clicked the button on my key chain. 😉

  2. John Gros says

    Convergence is more than a phone merging with a camera. Why not question if a smart phone can be a remote for your TV, DVD and other consumer electronics? Blue tooth, WiFi…….. Come on converge stuff. Stop only thinking phone and camera.

    • John Gros says

      As soon as I hit post, I also thought of a door monitor, so you can answer the door via your smart phone.
      Why not your phone act as a handset for your landline when you are at home?
      Where is the inovation?

      • Profile photo of John P. says

        You’re right John. There are definitely limitless potential opportunities for convergence to make life better. I was merely focusing on the camera as a single example of where converged devices aren’t really better than stand alone ones.

        Even in the case of the examples you’ve given, one could make an argument that an iPhone with an app that unlocks the front door will be less functional than say a dedicated remote to perform the same function. With the iPhone you have to dig through and find an app, launch it, pray it works, etc. Whereas a dedicated remote could have just one big button and do it faster.

        So, yes convergence offers some convienence, but like I said in the video. It also means compromise.


        John P.