What Is Technological Convergence?
What is technological change? In simple terms, technological change is nothing but the progression of methods and technology, defined by the research and development of new tools and equipment or the adaptation of previously existing tools and equipment to better perform their functions. Therefore, technological change is the culmination of human effort and creativity combined with the development and use of new, more effective, and efficient tools and equipment.
To appreciate technological progress, we need to understand what technological change is not. Change does not come from the actions of individuals; instead, it is a collective action, which is the product of humankind’s continuous effort to achieve its objectives. Therefore, things that have been improvements over time may be considered improvements. Still, the things that have changed the most are those that have contributed the most to man’s progress and which, by their very nature, deserve credit and recognition. For example, radio and television did not exist during the last century. However, they both quickly usurped the importance of other forms of communication and established new roles and powers over our lives.
Therefore, we do not hear much about what is technological progress. Why is this? Simply because most of the disciplines and ways of measuring technological progress have been built around the process of innovation. As people define it, innovation is the generation of something new from an existing system or procedure, replacing an existing facility or item. Innovation cannot be “invented,” only learned by its very nature. Thus, the discipline of technological appraisal and evaluation, which attempts to measure and forecast future innovations and their effects on society, is fundamentally incapable of studying technological progress.
However, there is a different view of what is technological progress. Those who subscribe to the school of thought that sees technological change as nothing more than the evolutionary adaptation of specific procedures or systems tend to deny the possibility of technological adaptation. These persons typically subscribe to a vision of a society characterized by fixed forms of interaction and information distribution, where technological change occurs due to the incremental adaptation of previously established procedures, systems, or items. The result is that they fail to see how online courses can contribute to economic modernization, social capital formation, technological adaptability, and the spread of knowledge across the globe. By viewing technological progress as the accumulation of incremental changes rather than the creation of something new, they fail to see how online courses can transform existing into innovative products and services.
On this view, technological convergence is the gradual emergence of increasingly complex technologically convergent products and services that can be used to perform traditional tasks. A classic example is wi-fi. While the original invention of the wi-fi hot spot enabled fast Internet access for a specific location, its adoption has resulted in the creation of ubiquitous small computers with wireless networking capabilities available almost everywhere. Similarly, the introduction of Chat Bots, which are artificially intelligent chat applications that can communicate with real people on the Internet, is a prime example of converging technologies.
To appreciate how convergence occurs, it is essential to appreciate technological change. Change occurs when a new product, equipment, or process replaces an earlier one. In the case of audio and video cameras, which have long been considered stand-alone products, there is little need to replace previous equipment. Technological convergence instead is the contraction of processes that previously served different purposes into unified ones. For example, software development that can diagnose and track a person’s pacemakers is a prime example of converging technology.
Thus, we can see that technological convergence is the contraction of previously distinct activities into unified ones. Such processes also hint at what is to come, namely, the advent of online courses. Nowadays, online courses serve as a platform for educational institutions, where they teach their students the skills they need to earn a degree online.
To better understand technological convergence, we should ask ourselves what digital signage is? Digital signage, also known as DVRs, are electronic boards used to display static content like video advertisements. As the name suggests, the content being displayed changes depending on the actions performed by the viewer. A well-designed digital signage system can be used as an information kiosk, displaying relevant weather, news, sports scores, etc. The key to Digital Signage’s success lies in its ability to deliver dynamic content customized according to the interests of the advertisers and viewers alike to make communication with consumers more meaningful.