Yesterday I discovered something called BluePhoneElite, a program that lets my cell phone talk to my MacBook.
The great things about it are that 1) it lets me sync my address book on my Mac to my address book in my Motorola Razr; 2) you can dial phone calls from your Mac, so if you don't have a phone number in your cell phone's address book, you needn't rekey it; and 3) when I have an incoming call, it'll turn off my music (I've usually got the headphones on when I work), and tell me who's calling.
A couple of my colleagues have also discovered it, and are crazy about the SMS support– get a text message, the MacBook will display it and save a copy– but since I don't SMS much, it's less a thing. For heavy-duty SMSers, I can see how it would be cool.
It's a great example of what device convergence ought to be.
It's also an interesting experiment in either the limits of convergence, or the way boundaries between devices may be defined by use context and user habits. For example, there's a beta version of BPE that lets you actually make calls and talk through your phone's microphone– essentially turning your computer into a giant cell phone headset– but I think I'd just use Skype if I wanted to make a call through my computer. There's no gain to be had by running a call from my cell phone, through my computer, and from there either through my lousy speakers or into a headset. Essentially, I'd be turning a cell phone into a really clunky land line.
What I'd really like is the opposite functionality. I'd like to be able to use my cell phone as a Skype headset, and either make calls on the cell network, or through Skype, depending on what made the most sense. This would give my Skype some ergonomic flexibility, without requiring me to buy some expensive new hardware.
Perhaps this is a clue to mapping what kinds of convergence will succeed. Convergence that increases functionality and interaction flexibility– like the cell phone as headset scenario– will win; convergence that doesn't provide greater interaction flexibility– like the computer as cell phone scenario– will lose. Or they'll lose with me, anyway.