Editor in Chief
- Dec 30, 2010
- Reaction score
- Austin, TX
We thought it would be fun to put together a list of older technologies that are becoming obsolete thanks to smartphone innovations over the last few years. While many of these technologies are still in use in limited ways, most of them are either dying out or are already in the grave.
It's possible that a few of these will always find some obscure/secondary reason to exist, but many of them will eventually go the way of the "Do-Do Bird." Here's the quick breakdown in no particular order:
- GPS Units - other than the ones that come in cars nowadays, who uses a portable GPS unit anymore. Google Maps on an Android is simply superior. It's possible that an old-school GPS unit might work better for folks going to remote areas, but that will not last forever.
- Standard Point and Shoot Cameras - to be clear, we are not referring to high-end DSLR style professional cameras, simply the old school travelers/tourist camera. Who needs these when smartphone cameras are inching ever closer to DSLR quality?
- Standard Camcorders - Obviously this is just like the example above. Higher-end products for specific applications might require an actual camcorder, but the days of tourists using bulky equipment is numbered. When smartphones can record video that is HD and above, why be encumbered?
- MP3 Players - Some people still swear by their Zune or iPod, but as time progresses, this is another technology that makes little sense when your smartphone can handle it all.
- Flashlights - this one really only applies for emergency situations. It is highly unlikely that traditional flashlights will be completely replaced by a smartphone. There are simply situations when the old school tech will be superior.
- Voice Recorders - It's ultra rare to see anyone with the old school tape or digital voice recorder anymore, unless they are simply clinging to old stuff.
- Calculators - this one is pretty obvious, except in the case of needing a scientific calculator for school or... scientific stuff!
- Remote Controls - apps which turn your smartphone into a remote control are plentiful now, although for the most part we haven't seen a wide-spread adoption just yet. However, it's entirely possible that future devices will simply include an app to upload to your smartphone instead of a physical remote.
- Wristwatches - this one is funny, because the smart-device industry is trying to "revive" it by creating smartwatches. Still, most folks left their old wristwatches in a drawer after getting a smartphone.
- Alarm Clocks - this makes a great deal of sense. Who needs the old school alarm clock when your smartphone can handle that duty for you. Many of us might still have the traditional alarm clock, but how long before those vanish forever too?
- Radio - this one is very debatable, because not all smartphones come with radios. Of course, that could change over time.
- Car Disk Players/Head Units - Does anyone use these anymore? They come in cars still, but mostly collect dust.
- Compass - If you were deep in remote areas, the old-school physical compass would still be the way to go, since it doesn't require battery power to work. Eventually battery tech will likely evolve enough to make these devices obsolete too though.