Things that will soon be obsolete

I always find it amusing when I drive past what used to be Blockbuster Video stores and look at how their logo has been adapted to suit its most current retail resident. A lot of these prime real estate places have been turned into Chemist Warehouses or the like.

When video rental stores were booming, it was hard to imagine a time when they would be non-existent, the same goes for cameras that use film, but here we are and those things are just a distant memory.

It does make you wonder what items will disappear next. Here is our best guess.

Landline telephones
The number of households with a home phone connection has halved over the past two decades. In 2001, over 96 per cent of Australians had a home phone connection. Now, for the first time, people with a home phone connection are in the minority (48.6 per cent). While landline phones are more reliable and a great fallback in an emergency, many people see it as an expense that can be easily cut from their budget.

Pay phones
It stands to reason that if mobile phone use has killed off landline use, it is only a matter of time before pay phones become obsolete. Currently, the law requires the provision and maintenance of pay phones. Telstra makes money out of the billboard space on the back of pay phones but, should that revenue drop significantly, you can expect the company to pressure the government for a change in the law and they will quickly become relics in our cities.

Paper maps
Built-in GPS devices and Google Maps on your smartphone have all but killed off the city directories and paper map-making businesses. I’ll admit that I am still in the minority who likes to look at a large area all at once on a big paper map, but I don’t think I’ll have that luxury for much longer.

Print magazines
YourLifeChoices started life as a magazine, but the publishers saw the writing on the wall early and moved into the online space. More and more publishers have followed suit and traditional magazines continue to follow the pattern. At some point you will no longer be able to buy magazines at a newsagent, although we imagine you will always be able to flick through old copies of previously popular magazines while you are waiting to see your GP, dentist or hairdresser.

We watched the very near death of vinyl, the obliteration of cassette tapes and the next cab off the rank will undoubtedly be CDs, as streaming services continue to grow in popularity.

The same deal applies to watching movies. We have stacks of DVDs below our TV unit at home, but the DVD player isn’t even connected to the TV anymore. as they are simply unused.

What items do you think are bound to become obsolete in the next five years? What has already become obsolete that you still miss?

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Written by Ben


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