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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Obsolete technologies: the losers

Today's post is all about obsolete technologies.

Contrary to the what?s next people, I do not believe libraries are going anywhere. I do think libraries will continue to evolve as community space and that more of our products and services will be digitally based (especially if kindle continues to catch on), but considering most libraries are free, we fit perfectly into the economy of free! Also, one of the trends what?snext is predicting for 2010 is back to basics, which includes a re-interest in analog. Sooo.... all of you people who suddenly decide you want to read a real book instead of your kindle? I know where you can find one or two, or several thousand. ;-)

PCWorld lists among its 40 losers (I'm not listing them all here):

1. Playing Video Games at the Arcade (I think there will still be arcades around for a while, but they will be big megaplexes aimed at families, kids parties, events, etc., which we have already started to see.)

2. Running out of Hard Drive Space (LOL, I wish this was obsolete and with cloud based services, it may very well be... but honestly, our devices like digital cameras create bigger files, so I will be surprised if I ever get to the point where I feel I will NEVER run out of space.... LOL)

10. Taking Polaroids (sigh, I keep hoping that someone will continue to make the film -- there is a market)

11. Waiting for pictures to develop (among the general photographers I can see film dying, but a niche community is already rallied behind film, just as LPs have continued to be popular.)

16. Enjoying complete privacy (sigh, unfortunately, I agree, that this is on the way out -- between GPS and cameras most everywhere, there are few places on earth that are truly private

18. Wearing a calculator watch (I would add, wearing any watch... Watches are done, except as either fashion statements or as worn by those who explicitly need a watch visible on their arm, such as divers....)

27. Holding up a lighter at a concert (if you've been to any concert in the last few years, what do you see? Cell phones, no lighters.... I can't believe this made the list of obsolete technologies, though)

29. Using proper grammar and pronunciation (As English is an evolving language, I am really not sure what this means. If it means standard grammar as was taught in the early part of the century, then yes, it is changing. Who uses dreamt anymore?)

31. Flipping on an incandescent light bulb (I surely hope we do not end up as a fluorescent world, fluorescent bulbs are terrible for people with migraines.)

38. Faxing (people still do that? LOL)

Off of the top of my head, here are the things that I see as going the way of the dinosaur: travel agents (but not tour guides), video rental stores, the mp3 player as mp3 player only (wifi/web enabled mp3 will stay for a good long while), digital video cameras (every digital camera will shoot video or every video camera will capture stills, so one device), watches (who wears a watch now besides people without a cell phone or those who need a device on their arm (divers, runners, etc.), and we'll continue to move to one mobile device for everything.

I do think, at least for a very long time (which in technology terms can be months -- LOL), that there will continue to be a division between professional level products and one device that does everything, but at a lesser quality. So while camera/video phones exist and will get better and better, the professional level products will continue to be more purpose driven (i.e., a camera is just a camera...) and offer higher quality. I do think there will be overlay in the prosumer and pro models, but it will be a long time (if ever) before we see professional video or stills from a phone.

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