We all love our gadgets. And when new ones come out, we can’t imagine how we lived without them. Even so, there’s an ugly truth to the world of technology: Much of what’s hot today becomes obsolete in the future. Just consider the humble landline telephone. Sure, many households continue to have them, but a growing number of people are dependent solely on cell phones and ditching the expense of operating a landline. It’s not difficult to imagine a future in which landline telephones are no longer mounted on our kitchen walls but are instead filling our landfills.
So we thought we would focus on a few technologies that may be phased out soon. Some of these may even disappear in the next 10 years.
Fax Machines: It seems like this should have been completely replaced by email a few years ago but it’s still hanging on. Most people dislike sending a fax now-a-days, but there was a time when this was revolutionary.
Newspaper Classified Ads: The Huffington Post recently listed newspaper classified ads as an endangered species. That’s mostly due to the online garage sale that is Craigslist. By giving people the opportunity to advertise their used futons for free, Craigslist provided a fatal body blow to newspaper-classified sections across the country.
Film-Based Cameras: People love film, and it has taken a while to phase it out, but there is no denying that the digital camera changed photography forever. Kodak has felt this transition more then most, so much so that the company is no longer making cameras. People like digital cameras because they can save their photos easily and make prints without having to save negatives that degrade. We shall see how much longer film-based cameras last, but they are definitely on their way out.
The Calculator Watch: Remember when geeks everywhere wore calculator watches strapped to their wrists? There was no better way to calculate the tip on that burger and fries. PCWorld, though, recently listed the calculator watch on its list of the 40 biggest losers of obsolete technology. Blame both fashion sense and cell phones. Every cell phone today comes with its own calculator. And fashion sense? Well, those calculator watches never were that alluring.
The Video Arcade: Many people grew up playing games in their local arcade so it’s unfortunate that these may be on their way out as well. But with the frequency that game systems improve and the inherent expense that it takes to operate an arcade, most gamers just go with their home systems where they can play in comfort.