Converged Thoughts Five

by Jay Cuthrell
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2007: Life in the “Foist” Lane (continued)

As I was saying… the way we consume music is changing due to convergence BUT I left a VERY important device! As we entered 2007, there was a steady rise of embedded computing that has slowly taken away the qwerty keyboards that are visually associated with computers. One example that got a lot of attention a decade ago was the humble but ill fated Chumby! A chumby could stream all your favorite Internet music streaming stations.

The time of the internet connected computing capable appliance had arrived. Thanks Chumby!

Chumby - Wikipedia


Little. Alarm clock sized. Always connected.

I also missed mentioning the rise of a new category of converged connectivity in 2007 that combined mobile access to IP networks with a localized WiFi service. These devices were accurately dubbed hotspots. These hotspots found their way into offices, homes, and even cars… Hmmm… cars….

Mobile broadband modem - Wikipedia


A mobile broadband modem, also known as a connect card or data card, is a type of modem that allows a laptop, a personal computer or a router to receive Internet access via a mobile broadband connection instead of using telephone or cable television lines. A mobile Internet user can connect using a wireless modem to a wireless Internet Service Provider (ISP) to get Internet access.

2017: Life in the “Feisty” Lane (continued)

Again… As I was saying… consuming music over the past 20 years is changing due to convergence BUT I left off at ANOTHER very important kind of device!

To recap:

As we enter 2017, it’s amazing to think about what you can do on a smart phone. Things are a bit feisty now and the number of choices are only just beginning.
Convergence has been embraced in our devices, in how we think about the back end systems that power the experiences made possible by and on those devices, and in our collective consumer expectations. It all should “just work” in ways that would have seemed like actual science fiction in 1997.
Right now, you have far less parts but oddly enough… quite a few choices to make:

  • Device
  • iPhone
  • Android device
  • A netbook, laptop, or yes… a desktop

Now, we already know I missed both appliances and hotspots

What I also missed was the expansion of the connected device appliance to come with… wheels.

Gary Numan - Cars - YouTube

Suggested soundtrack for this digest…

Think about cars for a moment. Go ahead. Hit play on the link.

Clearly, cars existed in 1997. Cars also existed in 2007. Listening to music in a car is just part of growing up in a world where cars existed.

You could even make the case that one of the major expansions of applied technology in 2007 was the creation of an entire category of geolocation services that went from fleet management vehicles (vans, delivery trucks, etc.) into our pockets as Apps such as Dodgeball and Foursquare.

On the flip side of connectivity and all things mobile, 2007 also saw the rise of a category of networking devices called hotspots but also better known as mobile access routers by networking folks (which, again, I missed in my prior digest).

What this means for cars in 2017 is even more convergence. Cars are often the subject of Internet of Things (IoT) discussions because they are accessible examples that many people use.

You’ve probably heard that a modern car could send as much as multiple terabytes of data ever day to the cloud. You’ve probably also heard that we were promised jet packs. Somewhere in the middle is probably accurate though.

But we’re getting off course…


Cars will produce a lot more information but let’s take this back to music. Appliances are not laptops or desktops but again let’s take this back to music. We want to listen to music.

Well, in 2017… we have a lot of options… and things are feisty right now.

Now you can use various handheld tablets, netbooks, laptops, computers, and even more thanks to music listening cabable appliance form factors.

Google Home – Made by Google

Hands-free help from the Google Assistant. Enjoy music, get answers, manage your everyday tasks, and control smart devices.

Echo & Alexa - Amazon Devices - Amazon Official Site

Echo and other Alexa devices let you instantly connect to Alexa to play music, control your smart home, get information, news, weather, and more using just your voice.

And of course, there are cars. New cars have new options for listening to music. It’s not just about radio, CD, XM satellite or even the Bluetooth or AUX port connected device you already would have in your pocket… it’s connected music over the Internet.

Zubie: In Car WiFi Hotspot powered by Verizon 4G LTE Network.


*Requires activation on a valid Verizon data plan at point of sale or online. Not available on unlimited data plans. $10 monthly fee includes Zubie connected car service and Verizon access charge. Does not include Verizon data or activation fees, which vary based on your shared data plan. For more details on how to activate, click here.

4G LTE In-Car Wi-Fi: Features & Information | Chevrolet


Discover how Chevy’s 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi is the most reliable way to stay connected while on the go.

The next question as we enter 2017 is to answer isn’t when will saying “Alexa play music” or “Ok Google play music” or “Siri play music” be possible in your next car… but when will it “just work” because of convergence.


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