[Gadgets] 41 obsolete technologies that will baffle modern generations


Shyloo
 Share

Recommended Posts

141336-gadgets-feature-33-obsolete-technologies-that-will-baffle-modern-generations-image1-fnie3vxuqa.jpg?q=50&fit=contain&w=1140&h=&dpr=1.5

 

Advancements in technology come in leaps and bounds, meaning it doesn't take long for new gadgets to become obsolete shortly after they reach their target market. Several modern technologies, such as mobile phones and computers, offer the ability to do many of the same things that these older gadgets were capable of, but in a smaller and more portable forms.


That's why we're taking a nostalgic walk down memory lane, looking at some of the biggest, best and most memorable gadgets from the last century that have been outdated, outmoded or just forced into irrelevance by better, modern technologies.

You might remember many of these, but there are plenty of the younger generation that don't.


The iconic phone booth; essentially a monument to telephone's history and now just a tourist attraction or somewhere to shelter from the cold.

The public phone booth has now been rendered obsolete by the rise of the mobile phone. There's rarely going to be any need for a coin-operated telephone when you have one in your pocket.


Another piece of technology that nears obsoletion after being replaced by a computer that we carry around in our pocket. The wired telephone dates back as far as 1844 and it has seen many iterations over the years that have since passed.

One such variation was the rotary dial telephone which featured a dial arranged in a circular layout so the user had to turn the dial for each digit off the phone number they were trying to call.

Except perhaps as a novelty, rotary phones are long since a thing of the past. Wired landlines are following close behind as modern smartphones are easily acquirable, far more personal and affordable.


In a world of smartphones, these old-fashioned mobile phones basically did nothing but call, send text messages and perhaps, if you were lucky, allow you to play a cheeky game of Snake.

They are now thoroughly antiquated and more or less obsolete. The precursor to the modern mobile, they were extremely useful in their time and were happily running for days without charge, something which we sorely miss.


Pagers were originally designed and built in the 1950s but they didn't really take hold in terms of popularity until the 1980s. These one-way communication devices were often used by emergency services, doctors and safety personnel who needed to be reachable at all times, even when away from a landline telephone.

The rise of smartphones in the early 2000s saw a decline in the use of pagers and beepers but due to their durability, resilience and better coverage they continued to see use for several more years and, as an example, Canada was still paying as much as $18.5 million for its pager service in 2013.


The forefather of the modern mobile phone, the personal digital assistant offered limited access to a lot of modern capabilities we've come to expect, including internet access, word processing, touchscreen functionality and more.

They quickly became obsolete when smartphones started to gain favour, but before that time they were a firm favourite with businessmen across the world.


LaserDisc was one of those niche formats of technology that was mainly popular among videophiles and film enthusiasts. Although it was the first format of optical video storage, available from 1978, LaserDisc failed to gain mainstream popularity due to the expense of the players.

LaserDisc offered higher-quality video than VHS and Betamax and the technology behind it was the foundation for compact disc, DVD and Blu-ray in later years. Despite never going mainstream, it wasn't until 2001 that the last video titles were released in this format and a total of 16.8 million LaserDisc players were sold worldwide.


DVD was the evolution of the digital video format developed by tech giants Panasonic, Philips, Sony and Toshiba. With a high storage capacity, it became a medium for computer files, software and high-quality video. DVD had many benefits over that of previous magnetic storage formats, including larger storage space, but also durability that meant that in theory, the discs could have a lifespan of up to 100 years.

With faster internet speeds, video streaming technology and other superior formats such as Blu-ray - even 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray - on the market, DVD is likely nearing the end of its lifespan. Meanwhile, other formats of DVD such as the 1080p-capable, Blu-ray rival HD-DVD never really even took off in the first place, much like the fabled LaserDisc.


Floppy disks were a type of data storage medium that originally appeared in the 1970s. The first was the 8-inch floppy disc, capable of storing just 80 kilobytes of data. As the floppy disks got smaller, their storage capacity grew and by the mid-1980s the 3.5-inch floppy disk was able to store a respectable 1.44 MB.

Floppy disks were unfortunately vulnerable to magnets and heat, and easily corrupted. By the 1990s software size meant many disks were required for most applications (Adobe Photoshop required over a dozen disks to run) so CD-ROMs began to take over. The floppy disk now only lives on as a save icon in most software applications.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Douma locked this topic
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share