We live in an exciting time where new technologies are constantly entering the market and improving the way we do business. Due to rapid rates of innovation, technology life cycles (i.e., the adoption, acceptance, and eventual decline of new technological innovations) are steadily becoming shorter (Source: Boundless. “The Technology Life Cycle.”).
Innovative new devices are making work activities more efficient, but unfortunately, they are taking the place of technologies. Find out which technologies are in danger of soon becoming obsolete.
Desktop PC’s have been disappearing for years, as technology enthusiasts are becoming increasingly concerned about having their devices with them on the go. According to Wired, “Worldwide PC shipments saw their biggest drop in nearly two years, […] reaffirming the ascendancy of mobile and the steady demise of the personal computer.” Technological advancements are creating high-powered, practical and mobile tools that can essentially do the heavy-lifting (and more) of a personal PC. Additionally, the idea of needing a central workplace is outdated, as people are more commonly working on-the-go from various locations.
The telephone was arguably one of the greatest technological inventions, but unfortunately, the landline is one everyday piece of technology that will soon be gone. Even “telecom giants AT&T and Verizon Communications are lobbying states, one by one, to hang up the plain, old telephone system, what the industry now calls POTS–the copper-wired landline phone system whose reliability and reach made the U.S. a communications powerhouse for more than 100 years (NY Times).” Mobile technology has grown to the extent that many businesses now use a virtual switchboard. This gives customers accessibility regardless of their location, and for times when a cell phone won’t work, nowadays cloud based phone systems are replacing the old, landline phone systems.
The world is becoming increasingly digitized, so the need for printing hard copies of documents is becoming obsolete. “The printer, once an indispensable peripheral, has become so peripheral that sales are in decline.” Why? “Chalk it up to mobile devices and the cloud… (ReadWrite).” These days, having a paperless office means you can sign documents electronically, and send files to your team electronically which is way more efficient than making hundreds of copies that will probably end up in the trash.
Many people believe that fax machines are becoming one of the most outdated technological items in the workplace, and it is easy to see why. Faxing, itself, is not dead, but it has evolved. Since many businesses rely on scanners and email, it is easier than ever to send and receive important documents without the time lag and unreliability of a fax machine connection.
Handheld Camera and Camcorder
Smartphones and tablets are killing the digital camera industry, while camcorders are evolving. “Digital cameras have been on the decline […], but that decline is more noticeable than ever as smartphones with high-resolution cameras become the one-stop device for taking photos and recording video.” While companies like GoPro “separate from traditional handheld camcorders,” have created an entirely new market (i.e., “point-of-view cameras — small and wearable, waterproof and shockproof — that can record video in high-definition quality.”). Carrying a camera around isn’t really convenient, and industry reports confirm “the increasing quality of photos taken via a digital camera built into a smartphone will likely hurt the industry over the next five years (IBISWorld).”
Auxiliary devices, known as peripherals, that are intended to be connected to the computer are also on the decline. Use of the computer mouse as a pointing device is steadily declining in favor of touch screen technology. As ECN Associate Editor Kacey Panetta explains, “The mouse exists in its current form only because it’s what we’re used to using on a desktop, but there’s no real reason we need a mouse at all. As we move towards a society that values a more intuitive interaction with technology, the mouse might be the first thing kicked to the curb.”
Like the mouse, stand alone keyboards are also becoming outdated with advances in touch screen technology. Touch screen keyboards also go the extra mile by offering predictive text, so typing out a message can be completed faster than ever. Some people already believe that the traditional keyboard is more of a hindrance than an asset.
Disk Drive Storage
Many tech enthusiasts are surprised you can actually still find optical and data disks in stores these days. Cloud storage is becoming increasing popular, especially when you consider the reliability and convenience of storing information in the cloud. Even CD-ROM drive, CD-R drives are expected to be phased out, as streaming and downloadable media services are only expected to continue their future growth.
With older technological devices quickly going out of style, it is more important than ever that you keep up with new innovations in both your business and personal lives. Feel free to share your thoughts on the disappearance of some of the most popular older technologies.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Sheza Gary, a NY-based Project Strategist since 2009, has been involved with launching startups and tech companies for 5+ years. Sheza has a keen interest in sharing her own experiences with business plans and upcoming business supporting technologies. She loves public speaking. Connect with @shezagary on Twitter.