The more you think about it, the more you realize that the world is moving at a rather fast pace. Just think about the tech behind computers when your parents were born and the fact that nowadays, any smartphone is ten times more advanced than the first PC prototypes.
Who could actually predict what will happen in the next 50 years accurately, considering the popularity of tablets and groundbreaking mobiles only began a few of years ago? In the light of these facts, I cannot help but wonder, just how soon the technologies people use today will become obsolete. Let’s examine the top ten of them that seem to be on their last legs.
1. Landline phones
If you were to analyze the statistics, you would notice that many households have already given up on their landline phone. Since almost all members of the family have a mobile phone with them at all times and can be reached easily, having a landline counterpart makes no sense anymore. It’s just an extra utility bill you do not really use, but have to pay at the end of the month. Furthermore, nowadays you have more convenient and not to mention cheaper alternatives to that, namely VoIP services and mobiles communication devices.
2. Personal printers
Ten years ago, nobody could imagine getting a personal computer without purchasing a printer as well. Without denying the fact that the printer is still very useful for both personal and commercial purposes, it is necessary to mention that the plug-in printers will soon make way for the wireless and communal printers. The main indicator for this change stems from the decreasing demand and popularity of the desktop computers as opposed to the growing dominance of laptops.
3. Phone numbers
Truth be told, most people still remember the number to their parents’ house even today. However, at the same time, people don’t bother with remembering or dialing other numbers when it is so simple to tap somebody’s name in the contact menu. Furthermore, the various VoIP services today allow you to make calls by simply accessing the other person’s username. Therefore, it is believed that in the future people will be asking for a person’s user ID rather than their phone number.
4. Hard drives
Once the SSD drives were launched on the market, it marked a point of no return for the spinning magnetic hard drives. While it is true that they are currently more expensive and are unable to store as much data as the HDDs, there are clues indicating that this won’t be a problem in the near future. The second blow that the HDDs took in the past few years was the advent cloud storage technology. Cloud storage is even better than SSD, since you will no longer have to invest in physical space and essentially, you will be paying a lot less for the same storage space.
5. Movie theaters
It’s funny, but the demise of the movie theater has been predicted a long time ago when the first TV sets became available on the market. It could be nostalgia, but the reason why they are still around resides in the fact that few things can compare with seeing your favorite movie on a large screen. However, with the 3D feature becoming more affordable and accessible, the HD TVs presence in most homes and since some studios have begun to release on-demand screening online, it is easy to understand why the era of the movie theaters is coming to an end. In addition, it is much more cost effective on long term to invest in a home theater system than taking your entire family out for a movie each weekend.
6. Fax machines
In all honesty, the only reason why companies are still using fax machines in an age when email and instant messaging software reign supreme is the signatures. To put it simply, if you are applying for a loan online, then your application will not be accepted unless you send the document with your signature on it. Well, not for long anyhow, since nowadays you can also use a touch device that permits you to enter your handwritten signature. In addition, let’s not forget that more and more businesses are accepting electronic signatures.
7. CRT television sets
Primetime television used to be massive a few decades ago, when families gathered to watch a movie, sports event or the news together on their brand new CRT TV. In my opinion, the past dominance of the television is what actually helps it survive these days. However, considering that the vast majority of shows are currently available for a minimum sum or even for free on the internet anytime and anywhere you like, already makes the old CRT TV sets obsolete.
8. Optical disks
Considering the convenience and reliability provided by cloud storage, the only reason why you can still find data on optical disks nowadays is because they are the only source of very rare movie/album you can’t find on the internet. Yet, this is not going to last for more than ten more years tops, given the popularity and growth of downloadable and streaming media services.
9. The PC’s mouse
Even though pointing devices such as the mouse or the touchpad may not disappear completely, all trends indicate that they will become the secondary input methods users prefer for their devices in the next few of years. In case you did not know, Microsoft already embedded this feature into Windows 8: even if they are not forcing you to use touch control, the user interface can support this tech.
10. Dedicated cameras
The dedicated camera and camcorder industry is constantly taking more and more hits with each new smartphone model released. More often than not, people tend to carry their camera with them when they think they will take pictures and that creates some inconveniences. On the other hand, people are always carrying their smartphone with them so they always have a good camera to snap a picture with whenever they want. In addition, the mobile phone permits you to upload or send the picture right away, a feature that dedicated cameras cannot really compete with right now.
Thoughts? Do you agree with the 10 items listed above? Anything else you think will no longer be used in the near future?