Wanted: Real convergence instead of 'accessories' like Samsung's Galaxy Gear
To hear consumer electronics vendors tell it I'm supposed to have a laptop, tablet, smartphone, maybe e-reader and now wearable "accessories" like Samsung's Galaxy Gear that'll reportedly run me $299.
It's a bit much. Way too much.
Samsung's Galaxy Gear would look enticing at the right price. About $150 approaches the right price, but $99 is definitely the right price. After all, you're asking me to take along yet one more thing to distract me from the present moment.
But there's a bigger problem here: The concept of convergence has died. If you're a true uber techie you're wearing Google Glass and a smart watch as you carry around your smartphone (not to mention tablet and maybe laptop). Good luck with that. How many tweet receptacles does one person really need? How many ways to take a picture are really necessary? How many devices do people need simply to conduct happiness fraud on Facebook?
Also: Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch looks rushed, misses the mark | See CNET Hands On with Samsung Gear
I realize convertible laptops haven't caught on with the masses, but the idea is in the right place. At some point, I need to lug around less stuff. Wearable computing will be a big category, but it has to be more than an accessory. Don't give me a dumb device Bluetoothed to my smartphone. Give me something that'll replace the damn smartphone.
Samsung has urged us to design our lives. In Samsung's view, that design includes buying a lot of the company's gear. Other tech giants have the same view.
At some point, this "here's yet another computing device" strategy breaks down. People only have so much money and only so much brainpower and bandwidth for devices. There are already signs of computing saturation. Computing devices will just start cannibalizing each other in the future.
If you really want a better design for your life you may want to kick off this cannibalization process now. Here's your homework: Ruthlessly cut any device you have to think for 3 seconds about packing before a business trip. Maybe you'll miss that device you left home. My guess is you won't.