Technology has always been moving forward. If we carefully examine the 21st century, we will find that the rate at which innovation happens is actually increasing with every passing year. As such, more and more technology that was somewhat relevant at the time finds almost no place in our current life. And no, it’s not because they are not feasible or usable. Rather, we have vastly better alternatives present. So much so that using an older substitute just doesn’t make sense. It is the primary cause of leading technologies toward oblivion. And today, we are going to explore such techs that might have been revolutionary, but today they are obsolete.
Why do technologies go obsolete?
When talking about obsolete tech, one has to accept that any device or product might become redundant if a newer and better alternative appears. As such, it does not have to cease working to become obsolete. This phenomenon also gets aided by time. With each passing minute, more modern technologies will be redundant, especially if there has been a positive trend observed amongst newer innovations.
List of the Obsolete Technologies
Given below are some of the most popular techs of their time that are no longer relevant today. Take a look:
1. CRT Television
CRT, or Cathode Ray Tube monitor, was a tech mostly used in early televisions. In fact, the advent of color TVs gave rise to CRT monitors all over the globe. CRT TVs were bulky, heavy, and costly. And while it reign supreme for almost a century, the rise of Plasma and LED screens hammered the final nail in the CRT coffin.
2. Public Phone Booths
We are sure most younger people today must be unfamiliar with the concept of a phone booth. Although some might have seen one in their neighborhood or a movie, chances are, they haven’t used one personally. It is not surprising, given we do have smartphones. But there was a time when Phone Booths were a rave. Sadly, most were rendered useless early on with the dawn of the century as more and more people started using mobile phones.
3. Landline telephone
The landline telephone was an invention that revolutionized the way the world worked. Although landline telephones are still available in some places, people have ceased using them personally. The tech was first seen in the public domain in 1844.
It connected two devices via cable and used electricity and magnets to transport and convert vibrations from one device to another to facilitate communication. Initially, landline telephone lines were routed to a local exchange, and all these local exchanges together made a network.
Over the years, the landline tech also saw various improvements. However, the invention of mobile phones all but rendered them obsolete.
Typewrites are yet another iconic piece of technology that has left a permanent mark on the world. It aided professional and business sectors as record keeping and many other activities not only sped up but were also refined. But then there was a computer, and people gradually shifted to them. Although initially, a computer was too costly and very limited in its application. However, with laptops, and now smartphones, they were not only mobile but too versatile, having a glaring gap of advantage over typical typewriters that couldn’t do anything other than, well, typing.
Pagers, or as people fondly call them, beepers, were a wireless telecommunication tool that was used to forward emergency or crucial messages in time. Although it was a one-way communication device, emergency personnel such as doctors were using it to remain available at all times. Even today, many doctors are found using a pager, but overall, the tech has faded into oblivion due to much better alternatives such as smartphones.
6. Floppy Disks
Floppy disks were a PC storage device that initially debuted in the early 70s. Although the first floppy disks were only capable of storing 80 KB of data, the limit was gradually increased to 1.44 MB till the 80s. Admittedly, that was a respectable amount at that time, and floppy disks allowed computer users a decorum of choices. However, with the initial rise of CDs, most people found themselves transitioning to the latest tech, leaving floppy disks behind in the dust. It is a tech we can safely conclude to be permanently over and done with.
7. PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
PDA can be said to be the forefather of modern smartphones. At the time, a PDA was not only costly but also allowed users access to some extraordinary capabilities, which today, we consider as common. As an example, the PDA offered limited internet access, Word processing, and a touchscreen. Hence, becoming a favorite of the business world. But the rise of iPhones and later Android more or less left the tech redundant.
8. Cassette Tapes
Compact cassette tapes were the craze in the 80sthey. They were so popular that at their height, more than 442 million cassettes were sold alone in the US. However, they gradually faded away from the market due to the introduction of compact disks. Still, it wasn’t until 2001 that these tapes saw a huge decline in sales due to digital media. Now, we know that blank tapes were still in the game till much later, at least till 2012. But that was it. There is no more manufacturing of such tapes as they have truly become a part of history.
VCRs used the same technology as that of cassette tapes. And similarly, they were at the height of their popularity in the 80s. However, they were loved because they allowed users to record their favorite TV shows for later viewing. Many popular blockbuster movies were also recorded and released on VHS tapes. And at that time, movie rental businesses were a huge market. The DVD contributed to the demise of VHS tapes. And till 2008, DVDs had totally replaced VHS in homes as they became the favored medium of recording and distributing content. VCR was a true example of entertainment technology.
10. Yellow pages (Phonebook Directories)
Technically a phone book directory is not a technology but is affected by it. There was a time when households used to keep a directory at hand to reach crucial listings. However, redundant internet made it redundant. Now anyone can do a quick Google search and find out any relevant businesses in the locality without carrying around a bulky redundant directory.
11. Physical Maps
The same goes for physical maps as GPS navigation and satellite imaging have severely hurt the map printing industry. Once upon a time, no camping planning was complete without a map on hand. But today, people can simply sit in their cars and travel on a whim, and that too without getting lost. In fact, GPS navigation and satellite mapping have advanced so much that they have integrated with several other industries to bring us a whole new experience, be it food delivery, shopping, groceries, etc.
12. Film Camera
Last, but not the least, we have film cameras which are not in use. Although we still are using digital cameras, it is mostly used professionally. Casual users nowadays don’t even own a camera of any kind, as they have powerful smartphones that are almost as good as digital cameras if not more. Gone are the days one has to wait days for getting his film developed. Today, with the help of the latest technology gadgets, anyone can take a snap and share it globally, and that too in minutes.