11 pieces of technology that could be obsolete in a few decades
Reported by Cheyenne Lentz
Thanks to the strides made in the tech industry, our everyday lives seem to change every decade. From the invention of the GPS to, of course, the smartphone, technology is constantly advancing and becoming a facet of daily life for many. However, as innovation occurs, some tech becomes less useful or prominent in society or sometimes altogether useless. Just think about analog phones or VCRs, both of which have all but lost a place in the present times of the 21st-century.
Here are 11 pieces of technology that experts predict will become obsolete by 2030 or 2040.
As cloud storage improves, USB drives might not be necessary.
Eventually, the cloud will be all that people use for data storage, making the flash drive obsolete in the not too distant future, predicts Isaiah Nwukor, web developer and designer at Storemods, a service for e-commerce-using individuals.
In the early 2000s, USB drives replaced floppy disks, CDs, and DVDs due to their larger storage capacity. Today, cloud storage is quickly becoming a top competitor when it comes to storing and sharing data because of its many benefits such as its limitless capacity and increased security.
Due to their ever-improving camera technology, smartphones could take the place of digital cameras.
Film cameras were replaced by digital still cameras only 20 years ago. And, in recent years, smartphones have become so popular that they have essentially replaced standalone still cameras, Nwukor told INSIDER.
Smartphones have caught up with camera technology and now provide a good substitute, he added, making still cameras both less convenient and less useful to the average consumer.
Tablets will eventually have the capacity and power to replace laptops.
"Laptops are quickly being replaced by tablets. Modern tablets have more computing power than the traditional user needs," said Bryan Lemon, software development lead at Heliponix. You can use tablets for business purposes, school projects, video and photo editing, and much more.
Most computing needs, even those of many software developers, will likely transition to tablets, Lemon told Business Insider. He said it might become common to have a tablet with a docking station that allows peripheral attachments, such as a keyboard or printer, and a larger screen.
Non-autonomous cars may no longer be on the roads by 2030.
"The driver's seat will become just another passenger seat as self-driving cars become more powerful and a new generation doesn't even learn how to drive," Lemon said.
Many other experts also claim that we are only a few years away from seeing more autonomous cars on the road. BI Intelligence previously predicted that by 2020, nearly 10 million cars with self-driving features will be on the road. Only a few years after that, the firm predicts fully autonomous cars will be sharing the roads.
Smart lighting could become the future of lighting in homes.
"Light switches will be replaced with smart lighting and voice-activated assistants like Alexa, Google Home, and Siri," Lemon said.
Not only is it more convenient, but smart lights can be more energy efficient. You can adjust lighting according to daylight availability, ambient light, and occupancy right on your smartphone, rather than just flicking a switch to a single, standard setting.
Retinal implants or some other hands-free system might take the place of cell phones.
Over the years, phones have improved dramatically and have allowed us to easily access information at the click of a button. But by the year 2040, cell phones will be replaced altogether by a new hands-free system, predicts Mike Hendrickson, vice president of technology and developer products at Skillsoft.
Google Glasses, glasses that give you internet access, or retinal and ocular implants are examples of what a hands-free system could look like in our future. According to Hendrickson, all you'll have to do is give a simple voice command and you will be able to look up content wherever you are.
Computer monitors could be replaced by casting technology.
Thanks to casting technology, the need for monitors will become obsolete as well as smart TVs, according to Hendrickson.
"[People will be able to] cast anywhere anytime… Just draw any shape on a wall/object and your TV should be able to play there," Hendrickson told Business Insider.
Safe scanning technology will eliminate the need for cash and cash registers.
According to Hendrickson, in another 20 years, new technology can alleviate theft and basically eliminate the need for making payments in cash.
Eventually, Hendrick predicts you'll be able to go to a store, grab all of the items you want, and then just leave. While leaving, some sort of high-registering scans will determine if you have the funds to pay for what you grabbed and charge you, he explained.
With the popularity of online streaming, cable TV could very well be on its way out.
The number of people who have cut the cord on their cable or satellite TV in the US at the end of 2018 was an estimated 33 million adults, according to research firm eMarketer. That's an increase from the 24.9 million cord-cutters in 2017.
This upward trend of cord-cutters will only continue to increase in upcoming years, as online streaming continues to replace traditional cable TV packages. Many TV and movie viewers are opting for less expensive streaming services instead.
Read More: 19 things you didn't know about Netflix
Touch ID might be the answer to getting rid of the dozens of passwords you can never remember.
Apple and Samsung have already implemented Touch ID technology, a new form of user-identification and verification that uses your fingerprint or face shape to unlock your phone instead of having to put in your password. This has been proven by some to be much more secure than the traditional password method.
This is only the start of what is known as biometric authentication, which allows you access to your information without the need for passwords. Gradually, some tech experts predict the login/password system will become obsolete with biometric methods for ultimate security and convenient user-access.
Virtual and augmented reality might mean the computer mouse could finally be eliminated.
The invention of the trackpad and touchscreen have greatly contributed to the decrease in the use of the traditional computer mouse, but haven't yet completely eliminated the need for it. But there is a technology that is predicted to replace the mouse and possibly the keyboard by the mid-2020s - open-air gesture control.
Using virtual and augmented reality, you might soon be able to command your computer through hand motions in the air. Some experts suggest the new integration of these realities into our technology has the potential to increase productivity both personally and in the business realm.
Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- Oops Woolworse, you did it again!
- A major SA retailer is now selling citrus specifically for gin – and people are freaking out
- This is what R300,000 a year buys you at SA’s most expensive high school – which just saw a fee increase of a whopping R22,000
- These are the top 10 academic schools in South Africa right now - with fees starting from R30,000 a year
- FNB clients can save up to R1,500 by getting a 2-for-1 food and entertainment app for free. Here’s how.
- Watermelons are suffering from severe sunburn this year – but South Africans still can't get enough