What devices and concepts of today will be history a decade from now?
Technology is forever advancing. And fast. When I was a little girl, I remember my dad telling me stories from when he was a kid in the 50s and, despite the fact that he was only 29 when I was born, his tales were so farfetched and alien to me. Even with a smaller age gap between myself and my son, there are still things I need to explain to him which I would just take for granted everyone knows. For example, a couple of years ago he was phoning a friend when he got a completely baffled look on his face, covering the mouthpiece he leans in my direction and asks, “Mom, what does it mean when the phone goes beep-beep-beep-beep?” He was, of course, referring to a busy signal, but with nearly everyone having call waiting as a part of their phone services, never in his life had he heard a busy signal before.
Just the other evening, my husband and I were recalling the days of cassette tapes and how they would inexplicably get a twist in them, causing you to unwind the whole tape to get the kink out (seriously, how did that even happen?). My son was in the room at the time of this conversation and looked at us as though we were speaking Igpay Atinla.
These are only two of the many examples I could probably come up with. When I dug out the old Nintendo a while back, my son had friends coming over for days to check out the old Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt.
Avram Piltch, the Online Editorial Director of LAPTOP Magazine, just published an article, called 15 Current Technologies My Newborn Son Won’t Use, where he discusses devices and concepts of today which he believes his son won’t ever remember. Some of Avram’s points I agree with: landline phones, slow-booting computers, fax machines, hard disk drives, and 3D glasses, for example. Some of the items on his list I can possibly see disappearing in the near future although I’m not totally convinced: dedicated cameras and camcorders, optical discs, prime-time television, desktop computers, and wired home internet. Other technologies Avram mention are, as far as I’m concerned, still going to be around and used long enough for a child born today to remember: the computer mouse, movie theatres, physical remote controls, windowed operating systems, and phone numbers. I’m certainly not suggesting these things will be around forever, but I do believe they’ll still be mainstream come 10 or 15 years down the road.
What do you think, Sync readers? What technologies from today do you see being obsolete a decade from now? For a look at other examples of forever-evolving technology, check out Phil Tucker’s photo gallery, Ten things your kid will never see, where he highlights things like analog snow, computer paper, long spiral cords, and yes, even privacy.