Yesterday, Apple unveiled to the world the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, yet again pushing the world of technology further and farther down the road, but what about those that got left behind?
These obsolete technologies didn’t get the memo:
Maybe because someone wrote it on a typewriter and faxed it to them! Some technologies served their purpose for a while, and then either evolved into cheaper, faster, better forms or simply just disappeared. Yet others such as fax machines, landline phones just refuse to die, despite better digital alternatives.
Here are four technologies that should be dead and buried, yet still cling to life.
Landline telephones: Survey says nearly 25% of Americans have ditched their landlines for a cell phone. The other percent of Americans pay for a VoIP service like Vonage to reach out and touch. Still, that leaves well over 100 million households firmly tethered to one of Ma Bell’s offspring. (No doubt many of these lines are also plugged into fax machines.)
Only 5% of adults age 65 or older live in wireless-only households, no doubt in part because mobile E911 emergency services still aren’t as reliable as calling for help from your trusty wall-mounted phone. As that population gradually moves toward that great early bird special in the sky, landlines will likely follow.
Typewriters: In the age of Web, tablets and Smartphone’s, typewriters are a bit like Fred Flintstone’s car — strictly for cave dwellers. Yet people still buy and use them.
Fax machines: Despite advances in Internet fax services and the availability of dirt-cheap scanners, this office machine of the 1980s is still with us, more than half a million of them were purchased over the past 12 months, according to the NPD Group, a market research company.
Cash registers: Ka-ching! The basics of the cash register haven’t changed since it was invented 127 years ago. While it might be powered by electricity now, it still can’t tell you what your store has in stock (and it never will). Computers with point-of-sale software are expensive, which is why a majority of small retailers still stick with the dying cash register. But Web technology is finally coming to eliminate the cash register.” Basic cash registers — and really, cash itself — are analog dinosaurs in the digital jungle of financial transactions. It’s time for them to check out.