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In Pictures: Endangered Technologies

How many of these do you think will survive the next 10 years? Kipp thinks none of them, as the mobile generation takes over.

May 10, 2011 4:43 by

  • While some of us at Kipp may be racing ahead into the future of technology with our smartphones, twitter feeds and fourquare checkins, the particular Kipper writing this article is still stuck in the 90s. We have a rather dumb, but lovable, Sony Ericsson that does the bare minimum voice calls and text messaging. Not counting the gramophone we still use to listen to our favourite tunes, the extent of our social media interaction is limited to a shell of a Facebook account. And as our inability to embrace the futuristic, er, future of social media and technology may suggest, we bear a certain nostalgia and attachment to the things of the past, like VCRs, floppy disks and 2GB computers.

    But we got to thinking about things left behind in our history books. (Remember the Betamax and the Walkman?) We began to wonder what will soon join the list of extinction? The list was far too huge and ambitious, so we thought we'd strap it down a tad. As this month we are doing a special report on mobile technology, we put together a list of appliances that are sure to go under as mobile technologies replace them. So are you ready, for some shocking predictions? Here we go

  • When was the last time you wore a watch? Unless you own a fancy schmancy Rado or Panerai, we are guessing it’s been a while. More and more people are beginning to depend on their mobile phones for the time. Ominous, though we like to sound, we have to admit we do think watches will still be worn as a fashion statement

  • 15 years ago, the first thing anyone buying an apartment in Dubai would do is ensure they got their landline set up from Etisalat. After all, how else will they be contacted by their family back home or the office? But no longer. Kipp was rather surprised, when we found out that the yuppy couple who moved in across the hall from us did not opt for a landline. They seemed to get on perfectly with their yuppy smartphones and (shhhh) VoIP softwares. Kipp predicts in 15 years time, we would have to explain to little Kippies that you once couldn’t walk around the house when you were talking on the phone.

  • There used to be a time when a modern house would not be complete without a chunky "computer table" on top of which sat a boxy monitor, a clunky CPU and a noisy printer. But with the advent of tablets, smart phones and laptops, we are quite certain these home desktops will slowly but surely die an unnoticed death. Although we suspect it will disappear from homes, offices working with powerful technology may remain loyal to these ageing dinosaurs of course.

  • Kipp is reminded of those less then admirable bank adds of the ‘retro-guy’ from the 70's with the tag "Cash is Uncool" seen around town. There are many such examples currently, showing our movement toward becoming a cashless society. First is the virtual mobile wallet Mowalÿ from Standard Bank, which is an app that accesses and transacts with Mimoney – virtual money powered by Standard Bank. The second option is one that has been in effect in Japan for some time now and involves embedding the user's bank account information in the telephone or on a SIM card or microSD card. The user then swipes the phone near a reader and presto! Read this article for more on the issue.

  • What with the ever pervasive Google Maps App, Kipp has a very strong feeling the good 'ol printed map will soon be replaced by the mobile phone. It is a pity though, Kipp doubts anyone would be framing a screen shot of Google Maps anytime soon.

  • Ok, this one is both a bit of yes and no. The need for wonderfully brilliant speakers is something Kipp thinks will never die out, yet the concept of stereo systems are undoubtedly changing. It is uncommon to see people setting up houses now-a-days, with just a sound deck from Bose, a much more modest and smaller version of the old stereo systems which came with slots for cassette tape, CDs, FM tuners and options to record. Instead of all the buttons and wires, the sound deck just has a dock to place one's iPhone or iPod on.

  • Mobile cameras have not yet developed to the SLR quality yet, and we are skeptical they ever will—which is why we think that the regular small point and shoot cameras will very shortly become a thing of the past as mobile phone cameras slowly but surely develop

  • Kipp’s heard on the radio, about the UAE's plans to issue visas via SMS. Apparently, the person would then scan the text message at customs in order to enter the country. Can passports be headed the same way?

  • Alarms on mobile phones are far more sophisticated, easier to interact with and well, mobile. Kipp uses the alarm on our archaic phone to set reminders, to set multiple alarms and sometimes just to hear it ring.

  • This definitely isn't the space or the time to begin the whole “is print media dead?” debate, but with nearly all members of major press outlets going the app-way, it won't be too long, Kipp predicts, before the majority of users look to their mobile phones, instead of the newspaper, for the latest news.

  • Remember how those fancy paper tickets, with the fancy envelopes got replaced by the e-ticket? Well, Kipp thinks it is only a matter of time before we see e-tickets being replaced by digital barcodes displayable on your phone.


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  1. MK on May 11, 2011 11:10 am

    All would survive except for alarm clocks!

  2. Madalene Matos on August 16, 2011 2:26 am

    A buddy of mine linked me this on facebook. I really love the site, this post is easily my favorite, thanks!


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