Tech Graveyard: Top 5 Gadgets That are Dead or Dying


Technology advancement has been a very fast ride, especially if you look at the differences in our gadgets from just the 1980′s to now. The weird thing about technology is that there isn’t a defined variable of something that will remain “hi-tech.” Something that you find ground-breaking now may not hold its luster in just five years.

Here are a few examples of my favourite inventions that my children probably won’t use or even know of. And to think, these gadgets were all considered to be top class inventions at their inception.

5. Landline Phones

Everyone remembers using these in the 90′s, but their disappearance has been a quick one. Currently, only about 26 percent of the United States owns one of these, and the downward trend is continuing at a very quick pace. Who needs the extra bill for another line that seems obsolete, anyway?

4. Hard Drive

I know, I know, this one is nowhere near its demise compared to the land-line phone. But you still have to admit that storage is changing — and rapidly, at that. We all saw the floppy disc come and go, and soon it will the hard drive’s turn.

Solid state drives are slowly taking over the market, and with no moving parts and superior loading times, it doesn’t seem like the hard drives of yesteryear of a chance. The world is also enamoured with cloud storage, lately, and this definitely doesn’t help the hard drive’s fate.

3. AM/FM Radio

With the increased interest in satellite radio, commercial radio is on the decline. Though many still listen, it seems as though the world is starting to prefer choosing their own programs than having to wait through a schedule. A similar phenomenon is occurring with television and movies, with the streaming platforms starting to take over.

Still, one of the greatest features for smartphones, in my experience, has been using them as radios. There are many apps that allow you to tune into any radio station in the world, and many radio stations, big and small, have their own dedicated apps to look into. Even if you are using an operating system that is pretty new, like the BB10 from BlackBerry, apps like TuneIn Radio keep radio alive, even if for just a bit longer.

2. 3D Glasses

While the popular gaming system, Nintendo 3DS, has proved that 3D is possible without glasses, it did so with relatively old technology. The future seems bright for 3D, though, and it seems that we are getting closer and closer to being able to watch 3D movies and games without glasses, from any angle.

As recently as 2011, notebooks that track your eye movements with their built-in webcams to give off the 3D effect have been made, not to mention stereoscopic phones that include 3D screens with no glasses. While none of these options is particularly viable for a home theater, it’s interesting to see how close the technology is to getting rid of 3D glasses altogether.

1. Optical Discs

Even though Blu-Ray discs are relatively new, that doesn’t stop the aforementioned cloud storage from stomping on this gadget of the past. Game systems are increasingly making their content DRM based with no need to buy a disc, online music markets (and pirating) rule the audio waves and even movies have become streaming giants.

Many Blu-Ray discs come with an electronic “ultraviolet” copy that you can redeem by using a code on their websites. With the clouds rolling in, it seems as though the end of discs is finally here.

What types of technology do you think are on their way out, and what technologies will you miss the most?

Tech Graveyard: Top 5 Gadgets That are Dead or Dying
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  • Ryan

    5. I can agree with Landlines. While a few people still use them, most have moved onto some sort of mobile phone.

    4. I’d say yes and no. I recently purchased a 120GB Samsung SSD and am using it strictly for my Windows 7. My old hard drive (1TB WD Green) has now become my second drive/partition for all my back-ups. I also have a 40GB WD for Linux, as well as a 500GB WD Green in my external enclosure. Regular HDD’s are going to be great for back-ups still. Keep in mind floppy disc’s had limited space. HDD’s you can get a few TB’s worth of data onto and who knows how much more. HDD’s are still quite reliable for back-ups.

    3. I don’t care enough about radio in general any more to be honest. I’ll occasionally put an AM station on but more to have it on while I’m working. I do have TuneIn Radio on all my devices, but almost never use it. Talk radio has become too political and if I want music there are plenty of alternatives.

    2. Must be something with me but I have never noticed the effect of 3D glasses. So they were DOA for myself.

    1. With hundreds of movies and tv shows on DVD, a month ago I’d be up in arms about this. However since I picked up a Roku box I just put everything on a USB hard drive and watch it via Roku, or I’ll fire up Netflix (though being in Canada the choices are limited). This past month, the only thing I in fact watch on DVD any more is Doctor Who.

  • Anton

    No No No, No and yes…
    5 Landline phones will stay for business purposes. Try running a private voip network over mobile phones. And it stays alot cheaper if you use massive amounts of minutes. For private use it is indeed very much in decline.

    4 SSD’s are still wayy too pricey, but indeed the optimum curve will come someday, takes already way too long to get them IMHO
    3 TV didn’t killed the radio, and the internet won’t either. It will change though, like all things it should adapt, but it’ll stay for sure.
    2 digital 3D is just starting, and there are loads of exiting thing going on in that area. Again, it will not push 2D away at all, but will become it’s own niche. Look at occulus rift for inspiration
    1 yes, optical disks have to go. Blurays will stay prolly for some time, but DVD’s are being pushed away by those and digital mediaplayers and smart-tv’s. And indeed the cloud is rolling in…