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digital convergenceIn the days of the first computers, the only information digitized was business records. Then came text and word processing, followed by audio and finally video. Having all forms of information in the digital domain made convergence inevitable. In the past, data used to travel over voice networks. Today, voice commonly travels over data networks. See VoIP, IP on Everything, IP telephony and fixed mobile convergence.
Computers and Entertainment Merge
A hot area of convergence is computers, the Internet and home entertainment. Instead of CDs, DVDs and cable TV, the Internet and the family's computers are becoming the music source to stereo systems and the video source to TVs.
This started after the turn of the century when Microsoft introduced Windows Media Center and Apple introduced iTunes, both of which are used to organize photos, music and videos on the computer. All new A/V equipment (smart TVs, Blu-ray players, receivers and streaming set-top boxes) includes Ethernet and/or Wi-Fi to connect to the home network. See smart TV, digital media hub, digital media server, Windows Media Center, iTunes, MP3 and HTPC.
Everything Converges in the Smartphone
The smartphone wraps Internet search and Web browsing, music and movies, camera, camcorder and photo album, voice recorder, game machine, GPS and mini versions of nearly every software program imaginable into one device that everyone has with them all the time. The smartphone is the ultimate convergence and the "truly personal" computer of the 21st century. See smartphone features and smartphone.