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Which Technologies Are Likely to Disappear During Your Lifetime?
The CRT monitor/TV, the home phone, dial-up internet, fax machines – they’ve all gone the way of the Dodo. If you’re old enough, think back to the 90’s. Remember when home PCs were really just hitting their stride; great big beige boxes. Hideous, some might say.
Now look at our modern-day computers. Some of them fit in our pockets (the Raspberry Pi 4 anyone?), and our laptops do more than our old computer ever did. Look at any technology and you’ll find most if not all of it almost unrecognizable, even in three short decades.
It’s interesting to wonder what will change between now and say, 2050. Where will the human race be, and what will our world look like? Will smartphones still be a thing? Or will we be wearing our tech – or have it installed into/onto our bodies?
Let’s take a look at the technologies that might not exist in a decade or two, and wonder what might replace them!
Our world is being uploaded to the web. When was the last time you transferred something to a USB stick, then to another PC? Instead, you probably uploaded it to Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox. Floppy disks were replaced by CDs, and CDs were replaced by USB drives. Physical media still has its place in our world, but more and more of us are opting for cloud storage because it’s easier and overall more safe to store it there.
Camera technology is getting better all the time. DSLRs are slowly being overtaken by mirrorless cameras – cameras that don’t have a mirror system that flips around to capture photos. Instead, everything is digital.
However, it’s smartphone technology that really comes to mind here. With news that Xiaomi and Samsung have made a 108-megapixel sensor for smartphones, and the relatively recent introduction of wide, zoom, and telephoto lenses to smartphones, it’s quite possible we could see traditional cameras being side-lined in favour of the easier to carry, easier to use smartphone technology.
Take one look at a Microsoft Surface device, and you’ll know what I mean. Tablets are getting stronger, able to power much of our daily needs. Backed by the recent push for cloud computing (look at Google’s Stadia project as a great example), tablets and similar mobile devices could quickly become our standard method for work and general digital usage.
Technologies like Samsung’s DeX and ASUS’ ROG dock could signal a common use of mobile devices, where we typically use them as normal, docking them into a station when we need a little extra ‘oomph’ when needed.
One thing is for sure; we’re all using our mobile devices more and our laptops less, and that could result in a permanent change in the way we access our digital lives.
C’mon – you knew this one was coming. Companies like Google and Tesla are paving the way for autonomous vehicles to become the method of transport for everyone. It’s safer, more efficient, and you’ll be able to have a drink or two before hopping into your car to head home.
Some of us – myself included – might loathe the thoughts of not being able to drive their car manually. But choosing between that and safer roads with fewer accidents, collisions, and deaths? That’s a trade I could make. Plus, look on the bright side – you could sleep, read a book, or watch a movie, without ever paying one second of attention to the road. It’s like your own personal train carriage.
This one might be a while away yet, but it’s very possible to imagine in our lifetime.
Our homes are getting smarter. “Alexa, turn on the lights, and message my partner to let them know I’m home safe.” That’s already possible, but I think we could see such technology go further. A home that’s controlled by AI, allowing you to control all aspects of your home – changing temperatures, opening and closing windows, locking the door at night, and so on – it’s a very possible future.
We already have smart temperature controls, WiFi and camera-enabled doorbells, and similar tech – is it really a stretch to imagine a smart home in the near future being the norm? I personally don’t think so.
Technology You Carry
We need pockets and bags for our tech. Phones, tablets, laptops. We need somewhere to store it all. But looking at Elon Musk’s desire to install wires into our heads (first for medical reasons, but who knows where it’ll lead?) and Google’s Glass project – not to mention all the advances in AR/VR technology – we may be wearing our technology soon, rather than carrying it.
Forget computer screens, mobile phones etc. Put on a pair of smart glasses, and have a whole world of digital visuals displayed right before your eyes. You wouldn’t need a computer anymore; the computer would be anywhere you are, with ‘monitors’ displayed wherever you need them.
Yes, our world is getting smarter – and the way we live our digital life is getting smarter too. Phones are getting thinner and lighter, while screens are getting bigger. Soon, all we’ll need is a pair of glasses or an ocular implant.
Technology is so ingrained in our daily lives, it’s possible we’ll see it move from being something we have to remember to pick up and take with us, to something we have with us all the time.
Anything you think I’ve missed off the list? Have something to add? Share your ideas, thoughts, and comments below!