With the rapid pace at which technology is changing, the rate at which things are becoming obsolete is also increasing. We’ve all seen things like the Walkman, Discman, and CD-ROM become obsolete, and this list is growing at an alarming rate. So what else is likely to become obsolete as a result of modern technology?
The humble wristwatch as we know it may soon be a thing of the past. It is already becoming obvious that more and more people are checking their smartphone screen for the time, even if they’re wearing a watch, and this signals a trend towards the demise of the traditional wristwatch.
The explosion of the smartwatch sector, however, is another factor that could contribute to the downfall of watches. With smartphones being integrated into watch devices, this may well see the wrist being a useful place for a peripheral, but again, it’s unlikely to be the traditional wristwatch.
Credit and debit cards have been around for a long time now, but the technology that supports these payments is only improving. While in the past cash was often used for making smaller purchases, such as coffee, and cards were used for larger purchases, this is seen to be changing. The advent of contactless payment processing has seen even more retailers supporting the change, and lightning fast payment coupled with no minimum spend is seeing cash fast disappearing from consumers’ wallets.
Voice over IP (VoIP) technology has become mainstream in recent times, and mobile phones have dominated the telecommunications space in recent years. This is only growing with more smartphone usage around the globe, so the traditional telephone over a landline network is sure to disappear in due course. Corporations are switching to VoIP technologies rather than traditional phone lines, and homes are making do with mobile phones and VoIP phones offered by their ISPs.
Modern cars are coming with keyless entry and start as a standard. The simple act of turning a key to start an engine has been replaced by the simple press of a button. Soon enough the entire car key fob unit will be a thing of the past. When doors can be opened by a touch, boots can be opened by a swipe of the foot under the tailgate, and engines can be started with a finger, why should a key be necessary?
CD-ROMs are a thing of the dinosaur age, and DVDs appear to be going down the same route. With more videos and films being streamed over the internet, and specific cloud based services such as Netflix offering the same service, there will soon be no need for a physical disk.
The connected home is a phenomenon that is only gaining steam and momentum, whether it be thermostat control, locking and security systems, or light switches. Of these things, the humble light switch is likely to disappear first. Smart bulbs have found themselves in many homes around the world already, and this allows for hands free control of lights and even their colour.
The self-driving car is being tested by the likes of Google and some major car manufacturers around the globe. While this technology is likely a while away from being available for public use, the old driving instructor may actually be replaced sooner than that. On a closed circuit, a computer could well instruct and monitor a learning driver during a controlled test, therefore making the human equivalent effectively redundant.
Technological innovations are creating more possibilities every day. With so many things ripe for disruption, there’s no doubt that we will see many things we know and love go the way of the dinosaur, so to speak.