It has been propagated for long: smart things, disappearing computers, ubiquitous computing, wearable computing, pervasive computing, ambient intelligence, internet of things - various terms viewing from different the very same phenomenon - things are now longer just thingsm but have virtual counterparts that expand their original capabilities.
It has been a nice vision, which is becoming deployed now: apple has come up with iTunes, originally only selling music, but today also selling software, Google has started something similar with Android, and Nokia has started promoting their Ovi. The economist has come up with two nice articles discussing this phenomenon in greater detail.
 Gadgets, Thinking inside the box - There is more to portable electronic gadgets than just fancy hardware, Dec 4th 2008, From The Economist print edition
Nokia, Ovi go again - The world’s biggest handset-maker makes a new push into mobile services, Dec 4th 2008, From The Economist print edition