Much of the technology that we take for granted today is indistinguishable from what our ancestors would call magic. In the future, things like wireless electricity are likely to see close to magic in our eyes. We have advanced so far in the last 100 years, that it almost constitutes a miracle. Technological advances continue all the time, making our lives more convenient and entertaining. As we move forward, though, there is plenty of technology that will fall out of use and be relegated to the dust bin of history (or to the Smithsonian). Here are 4 relatively recent technologies that are on the verge of extinction:
1. Landline Telephones
The landline telephone is practically a technological dinosaur. It has been around for more than 120 years, and in wide use in homes for almost a century. The landline was a fixture in just about every home until less than 10 years ago. In fact, the cell phone revolution didn’t really pick up speed until around 5 years ago. But since then, the effect on the landline phone has been devastating. Almost no one under the age of 30 even bothers with a landline anymore, preferring cell phones that can be outfitted with cheap plans, or deciding to get their phone service over the Internet at a steep discount from landline or cell phone prices.
When DVDs started get popular in the early 2000s, it seemed like they would enjoy the long popularity of VHS. DVDs are compact, in comparison, and of infinitely better quality. They are easier to use tham VHS, and quickly came down in price, ensuring that that the discs and their players became affordable.
Now, though, DVDs are already falling out of favor. Blu-ray is of better quality and can hold more information than DVD. And it’s not just the disc format competing with DVD: The ability to download and stream video from the Internet is also hastening the demise of the DVD. In fact, Blu-ray may only last a little longer itself as people become interested in the versatility of completely digital media. We don’t want to carry our music around on discs, so why would we do that with movies? Only those enamored of the idea of hard proof of media ownership will still be interested in discs of any kind after the next few years.
3. Cable-like TV
DVDs aren’t the only media likely to lose ground to blazing fast download speeds and Internet streaming. Cable and satellite TV could soon be losing ground. Cable is losing to satellite, and satellite could easily lose ground to online sources of television programming and entertainment. Especially since so much of it is free. Even though Rupert Murdoch is pushing to start charging subscription fees for Hulu, it is still free right now, and there is a chance that the move could backfire, since we’re all very used to the idea that Internet content should be mostly free. As long as the up and coming generation is more interested in being able to access their entertainment from anywhere via a laptop, cable-like TV is in danger.
4. GPS Devices
Huh? Aren’t GPS devices brand new and popular? That they are. And this past holiday season, many GPS manufacturers were desperate to sell units and marked them down dramatically. This is because with the entrance of Google in the market, it seems clear that GPS capability is going to be standard on smart phones. You can already use maps and other helpful GPS-like applications on a wide array of smart phones, and integrating full-service GPS will only encourage the decline of standalone devices. Why would you buy an extra gadget when your phone can fulfill the same function?
With the advancement of technology, it seems clear that some things will fall by the wayside. What gadgets do you see disappearing in the next few years?