Technology is a great thing. It advances like nothing else at a pace which very few can handle, even within the same industry. As a result, there are often technologies which emerge, create a big following base and then suddenly disappear from the radar. Usually, they have been replaced by something else or simply aren’t that useful anymore. Yet, they are still around. Here are 8 technologies which share that fate.
3D was all the rage in the TV segment for a while. At least according to manufacturers. Users, though, never really warmed up to the tech. Getting enough content for it wasn’t always easy. In fact, it was more expensive. Besides, there’s the thing about the need to wear special glasses and sit at a certain angle. And some users were prone to getting dizzy from the 3D effects. Add the fact that there were only a few test live 3D broadcasts and the whole thing seemed doomed from the start.
Occasionally, we still use a CD or a DVD drive. Usually as a last resort – when everything else has or is failing. Even music fans buy physical albums of their favorite bands just for the artwork and to have them in their collection. For the most part, though, we simply listen to the digital copy. Who has time to fiddle around with disks, right?
There was a time when dial-up was the most popular way for consumers to connect to the Internet. The futuristic at the time “handshake” sound of the modem connecting, the unstable connections, the low speeds… No one was angry at all of that, though. It was just par for the course and an interesting novelty. Now, if the connection lags for 0.02 sec some users could blow a gasket. Yet, in some developing countries, dial-up is still a thing, so count your blessings.
Pagers were quite poplar in the 1990s, especially in the US. They were a symbol of being someone who people can rely on all the time. Or just an annoyance… depending on your point of view. As you can imagine, cell phones replaced the now forgotten pagers. However, pagers are still here. According to the CEA, in 2012 Americans bought about 10 000 new pagers. They are still popular among doctors as it allows them to be reachable when there’s a disaster and the cell networks are overloaded or down.
There was a time where Sony’s Walkman and Apple’s iPod were THE devices to have. They spawned loads and loads of various competing devices. Then the smartphone came along and removed the need for such devices and Dictaphones. Despite that, there are still MP3 players around. Even Apple still makes the iPod. It looks like an older iPhone, but without the “phone” features, which makes it cheaper and probably a good device for kids, but that’s about it.
While many new cars offer GPS navigation services, usually they come with high additional costs. The unit is usually a bit more expensive than the version without GPS. At the same time, people now have smartphones which offer plenty of free, reliable GPS navigation services. And some new cars also offer Apple Car Play, Android Auto and MirrorLink tech, so you can use the app from the phone right on the screen of the car.
In the early 2000s MySpace was the place to be online. The social network had a big role in pop culture and inspired the next generation of similar services. As Facebook started to become more and more popular, MySpace started to lose users. Today, MySpace has revamped into more of a music and entertainment platform and is still around, but less and less people use it.
Windows XP and 2003 Server
Getting corporations to update their software and infrastructure can be quite challenging. This is often a very expensive, complex and time-consuming effort. Because of that many companies prefer to stick with their outdated tech as long as possible. As a result, Windows XP and 2003 Server are still around despite fading away from the spotlight. Until WannaCry popped up last year and showed just how many devices are still using it.
Bonus: Vinyl goes against the grain
Vinyl records, on the other hand, break the mold. They are very old, but still popular. Moreover, they are one of the few properly old technologies which are not only around, but actually record big jumps in their sales. Nielsen for example says that the US sales of vinyl records in 2017 were 14.32 million units which is the highest volume since 1991. The same happens in Canada, too. Just for the first half of 2018, sales of vinyl records have grown more than 66%. This shows that age doesn’t really matter. If a technology is good or popular, it can stick around for a lot longer than expected.