Oh, how time flies! No, that is not a gadget available in the market that would allow you to follow Marty McFly and break the space-time continuum. But then again, there was a generation who could only wish they could bring home a movie and watch in the comfort of their own living room at their own time and convenience…before the Betamax and VHS were born.
Or what about the time when you wished for a clearer copy of those VHS movies that you were bringing home…before laser discs got introduced. Or when computer geeks wanted a faster way to access the bulletin board system…before the smart modem with a dial-up speed of 14.4 kilobytes per second was released to the market.
Say what? The Betamax, VHS, laser discs, bulletin board system and the dial-up smart modem have all gone by the wayside. You would probably get a quizzical look from youngsters if you even dare mention these cutting edge technologies of your time. But not to worry, as you can tell those kids that there will come a time when their own amazing gadgets would be dismissed as old school.
And yes, Marty McFly’s Delorean could become real. And technology would continue to develop and may eventually render even that as obsolete.
Below are ten modern gadgets using cutting edge technology that may not even be around when a child born today becomes an adult.
10 The Digital Point-and-Shoot Camera
Remember those Mavicas? Introduced in the early 80s by Sony, it made use of floppy discs instead of films. Using it was cheaper in the long run for the average user as you would not need to buy film negatives or slides each time out. The Mavica probably drove the first nail into the coffin of the analog camera. From floppy discs, the digital point-and-shoot eventually evolved into the use of high-capacity memory cards capable of storing thousands of pictures.
Then, the smartphone came into being. Some of these phones have cameras with more megapixels than a professional digital single lens reflex camera. Easy and practical to use, the smartphone may be the death knell of the point-and-shoot.
Don’t get me wrong…those digital SLRs used by professionals will still be around and are probably here to stay. But for the average consumer who used to own a digital point-and-shoot, replacing them with a smartphone is a no-brainer. After all, you always bring your smartphone with you. This means that you will not be caught unarmed when those unexpected times where you need to take pictures occur. They also have filters that will allow you to edit your images right there and then. And because it comes with the phone, your pictures and videos can be uploaded online and shared with friends immediately.
9 Landline Telephones
The advent of mobile cellular technology has slowly nibbled away the use of landline telephones. Landline payphones that needed coins to operate used to be ubiquitous in the urban landscape, but now, its use has decreased dramatically as everyone owns a mobile phone. Time will come when homes and offices would be utilizing mobile phones exclusively.
8 Phone Digits
It used to be that a guy’s first step in courting a girl is getting her phone number. The number then gets memorized, as it is dialed every night. Then, mobile phones came along, and one can save not only the number but also the name on the phone. Tap on the name and the number gets dialed.
Now, we have Skype, Google Talk and other chat services that use the VoIP technology. And voila, all one needs is a username! Phone digits are slowly becoming a thing of the past.
7 Facsimile Machines
Fax machines allow you to send a fully signed document over the phone. But wait; don’t emails do that as well? And with the use of modern touch devices, even signatures can now be sent digitally. Add to that the fact that landline phones are becoming obsolete, fax machines won’t be far behind.
6 Cable Internet
Wireless Internet will be displacing all the cluttered cables that accompany wired connections. The latter’s advantages of faster speed and lower costs are slowly being addressed by new wireless technology. Already, the 4G LTE wireless has comparable speeds to that of cable. Eventually, even the cost will even out, as wireless connections are more practical and scaleable.
5 Desktop Computers
Other than high-end workstations, what use would desktops be good for? Notebooks and tablets are more practical and allow mobility.
4 Primetime TV
Time was when we had to be home on Thursday evenings to catch the latest episodes of Friends, Seinfeld and other must-see TVs. Not anymore! We know the wonders of TiVo. Besides, networks usually offer their shows for online streaming or download.
3 Movie Houses
Watching movies on a big screen can now be done at home. Ninety-inch high-definition TVs are now available in the market. Combine that with state-of-the-art sound system and the ability to download, you will now get to watch a movie any time you wish, and replay as much as you want.
2 3-Dimensional Glasses
3-D used to be the big thing, with the images on the screen coming to life. You do have to wear those dorky colored glasses to experience it, however. It won’t be long before we get glass-free 3-D screens! Already, notebooks and mobile phones are available in the market that feature stereoscopic screens by tracking the movements of your eyes.
1 Optical Discs
Why bother with physical media that would occupy shelf space? Sure, the big film studios still use DVDs to sell their movies. And with the sheer number of films already made, it may take a while before everything gets digitized. So while you may need to hold on to those discs of hard-to-find movies for a while longer, it won’t be long before you could clear up your shelves, as cloud services would be offering all these for download.