The technological revolution over the past 30 years has seen newer devices replace already pretty new devices in extremely short periods of time. Never in human history have consumer products been so widely accepted as modern technology only to be replaced by newer and faster products the next year. The speed of innovation is such that many scientific experts believe we are quickly approaching a technological singularity when the human ability to create will be surpassed by a superintelligence. That's when things will get really interesting!
Until then, here are a few examples of products we used every day that are now considered practically useless or obsolete. Who's to say which common devices you own today will be completely pointless tomorrow?
1. VCR And VHS
In today's world, there are really inexpensive services that will convert your VHS home videos to digital making your VCR a really effective dust collector.
By 2009, one-fifth of American households were wireless. Today, wireless use is at 102% making landlines a thing of the past, even though most communications packages include the service.
In order to find directions, people no longer need Mapquest. Even physical maps have gone by the wayside, though it is important to learn how to read them.
4. Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, And Phone Books
Paper references such as phone books, dictionaries, and encyclopedias have become all but obsolete when you can instantly perform a Google search with your voice.
5. Floppy Disks And CD-R
Due to the prevalence of cloud computing, thumb drives, and external hard drives, the floppy disks and CD-R's on your desk are basically coasters.
6. Record Stores
Record stores are still frequented by avid vinyl collectors, but a majority of the people get their music from streaming and digital services like Spotify or iTunes.
7. Fax Machines
Fax machines used to be an impressive piece of modern technology and many companies still use them. With the increased use of PDF and email features, fax machines will soon be featured only in museums.
8. Paying For Email
Besides people who pay for their own domain name, do you know anyone who still pays for an email account? Gmail has made paying for email obsolete.
9. Newspaper Classifieds
The newspaper classifieds used to be the number once source for job searches. Thanks to the Internet, Craigslist and Monster have made posting in classifieds a waste of time and money.
In order to get nearby restaurant locations, people used to dial 411 for information. Sites like Yelp, Google, and Foursquare have rendered that number useless.
11. Paper Products
Since many companies deal strictly with email and online digital databases, most paper products have become a complete waste. Score one point for the Amazon Rainforest.
12. Video Stores
There used to be a Blockbuster Video on nearly every corner. Because of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, only around 500 stores exist. That still seems like too many.
13. Alarm Clocks
Even though some people still rely on alarm clocks to roll out of bed every morning, the inclusion of alarm features on cell phones has all but replaced this extra piece of tech.
14. GPS Devices
There was a brief period when standalone GPS devices put people at the forefront of satellite technology. Smartphones have all but made them ancient artifacts.
15. Going Off The Grid
Thanks to online databases, GPS, and social networks, the possibility of ever going off the grid or disappearing from everyday life for a little while is nearly impossible.
With the increased interest in self-driving cars, clean energy, and private space travel, there are probably more products you consider invaluable to your everyday life that will be outdated before you realize it.
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