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8 things disappearing from everyday life

22 December 2015

Remember the Walkman, the pager, Polaroid cameras and calculator watches? And whatever happened to Paris Hilton?  For better or worse, many of the things we think indispensable now will eventually go the way of the milkman or the fax machine.

Here, we predict when some of those everyday things might become obsolete. Enjoy them while you can…

What might become obsolete in the future?  

What: iPods / music players

Not so long ago, having a device dedicated to playing all your favourite tracks was all the rage. It was an easy progression from walkmans, to discmans, to MP3 players, to … well, nothing. Smartphones have become so smart over the years that the need for having a separate device just to play music is quickly becoming obsolete. Even the most modern music players, with tech allowing them to sync straight to the Internet, has seen a drop over the last couple of years, as seen by the chart below.

Type of device used by households to access the internet

What: Kim Kardashian

The socialite who, like Paris Hilton, is largely famous for being famous, is likely to be superseded by another ‘talent’ in the next few years. However, that next big thing could well be her daughter North West, who might already be hatching a plan to step into mommy’s shoes.

What: Traditional cookers

Manufacturers such as Whirlpool have already demonstrated touchscreen cooking surfaces that can detect what food you’re cooking and adjust temperatures accordingly, meaning a sad farewell to barbeque traditions like burnt steak or dangerously underdone chicken. Whirlpool’s prototype also enables you to browse the web at the same time – handy if you like following recipes online.

What: Desktop PCs

Despite all the hype, the PC isn’t dead yet. An estimated 68.6 million of them were sold worldwide in 2018 according to analyst Gartner*. But there’s no doubt that the desktop PC will become an increasingly rare sight during the rest of this decade.

What: Doctors' appointments

Today’s fitness gadgets can see how far you’ve walked or run, but the fitness gadgets of the next 10-15 years may be able to cut out the need for routine medical check-ups. That’s because they’ll be able to monitor vital signs and alert doctors only when action is needed.

What: Banknotes and coins

Chequebooks are on the way out already, so why not cash? Contactless payments are here to stay, and mobile payment apps (like Apple Pay and Google Pay) could mean it won’t be too long before our purses and wallets are no longer filled with notes and coins.

What: Tuna steaks

Say goodbye to affordable tuna steaks and sashimi: some of our favourite tuna species are tragically on the way out. Numbers of Atlantic Bluefin tuna, in particular, have declined by up to 82 per cent in the last 40 years, mostly thanks to overfishing – as reported by the National Geographic**. Eat up now while you can… Or preferably not, if you aspire to one day cook tuna mornay for your grandkids.

What: Passports

With an RFID chip implanted under your skin, there’ll be no more unflattering mug shot passport photos to giggle over as you wait in the check-in queue. Instead your identity will be confirmed much like how we currently identify lost dogs. Woof.

The future is clearly unpredictable. There’s one thing that you can think about when it comes to your future though; your superannuation.  

Explore Suncorp’s Superannuation 

Dan Graham has been reviewing and reporting on all things computing, mobile and internet for most of the last decade. He regularly writes for TechRadar, Lifehacker UK and T3 amongst other titles. He is naturally anxious about the demise of The Kardashians. Follow him on Twitter:

*Source: Gartner Press Release

**Source: National Geographic


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