The concept has been in play for over the last five years but more and more consumer electronics are migrating toward one common device. It's not enough for a camera to only take pictures or for a phone to simply make a phone call. We demand more from our products and multi-tasking functions are becoming less of a novelty and more of the standard.
Digital cameras have taken a step up from merely being a point and shoot device. With the increase of Wi-Fi hotspots and the rise in popularity of social sharing, consumers want to be able to share moments caught on camera in real-time, without waiting to get home. The Nikon Coolpix S610 series of cameras have embraced this technology, allowing users to use their cameras to not only take pictures but use the built-in Wi-Fi capability to upload to myPictureTown (Nokia's photo sharing site) or share via email or to other mobile phone devices.
Where we've seen the closest integration of an all-in-one device are in mobile phones. These phones are less focused on making phone calls and are shifting more towards media sharing and web content. The camera technology on phones improves with every new generation and some of the newest devices on the market feature HD video. With many mobile phones already having web data plans attached to them, social sharing of information, photos and video is made that much easier and much more real-time. Include these capabilities along with other features that even let users watch television on their phones, we are coming closer to that all-in-one device.
Will we see one device that literally does it all? We haven't gotten there in the last five years but the Consumer Electronics industry is certainly making headway in that direction.