Life’s pretty darn good right now with our handy cell phones, our easy-to-use remotes, and our ability to send someone a document with the push of a button. But the things that make our lives so convenient today are about to get an overhaul.
So take a long look around and say your goodbyes, because “the times, they are a-changin’!” Here is our list of the biggest things that are going to change in the not-too-distant future:
1. Fax Machines
The hours waiting for a fax machine to be free, the wasted time feeding individual documents through, and the countless check-ins to make sure the fax was successful.
If you’re tired of it, rest assured that others are as well! The fax machine will be a thing of the past, soon in the future.
2. Delivery Jobs
As much as the post office, FedEx, and UPS have tried to accommodate the changing needs of the public, the truth is, they can’t keep up with demand. Unfortunately, real people need things like sleep and food, and sometimes make mistakes which make the delivery business less profitable.
In an effort to stay efficient, in the near future humans will be replaced by trackable, non-stoppable, and versatile drones.
3. Cords and Chargers
Look around your house. Do you still see a bunch of cords on the back of your TV, computer, and appliances? Well, cords are out, baby, and Bluetooth, NFC, and wifi are in! The ability for tech devices to communicate without a physical connection, along with wireless charging is growing quickly.
According to research firm MarketsandMarkets, new forms of wireless charging and communications are expected to grow exponentially over the next five years, making cords a thing of the past.
4. Credit Cards
Sure, there are people who will always resist change and stick to things that they know, but physically carrying a credit card seems to be heading toward being a thing of the past. Companies like Apple have developed (and continue to improve upon) software that allows you to pay for stuff with your phone.
The feature allows you to scan your phone to buy products in over 250,000 retail stores—with the good news being that it’s totally secure. Seeing as stolen information is a huge problem in the credit card industry, we see this feature being used more in the future, and credit cards, less.
Can you remember the last time you wrote a check? Do you even know where your checks are? Maybe you wrote one to your mom, your grandma, or your 14-year-old babysitter (but even she would probably prefer Venmo).
With the ability to pay bills online, email people money that you owe them, and have funds transferred directly out of your bank account, paper checks will soon be a thing of the past!
6. Having a Different Remote for Every Device
Right now you probably have five different remotes sitting on your family room table—one for the TV, one for the cable box, one for the Xbox, one for the surround sound, and one that you have no idea what it’s for. Soon you’ll be able to throw these babies out!
Voice-control abilities along with smart devices will be able to control all of the devices in your home with the click of a button from your phone or tablet, or by the sound of your voice.
7. Landline Phones
New studies show that less than 50 percent of Americans still have land phone lines in their homes, while 38 percent of people have both landlines and cellphones. With people become increasingly comfortable with technology and dependent on their smartphones, landlines will become a thing of the past.
In fact, most people admit to keeping their landlines around in order just to find their misplaced cell phones!
8. DVD Players
Except for those who collect ancient artifacts, DVDs may soon be on the obsolete list. With online services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, where you can download and stream videos off of your computer, through your gaming device, or right through your television, DVDs seem to be an unnecessary bulk purchase item.
Additionally, features like “on-demand” and “catch-up TV” make the need to purchase separate DVDs further unnecessary.
9. Movie Theaters
Along with us becoming more dependent on video streaming services in the comfort of our own homes, the cinema seems to be on the way out.
People still do love seeing their favorite films on the big screen—and getting out of the house to be sociable, as well—however, with TV and home theatre systems becoming so much more technologically advanced (like 3D features, impeccable sound, and HDTV) it’s becoming much cooler (and more cost-effective) to stay at home.
10. Analog TVs
Even though TV went digital in 2009, there are still a few, rabbit-ear analog TVs still floating around. But if you ever watched a “snowy” version of your favorite show (and spent half of the time adjusting the antennas) you know how much better digital is.
However, the switch to digital was only a start. With awesome, new features on TVs like 3D and super HD, who knows what will come next? All we know is that analog TVs will become conversation pieces.
11. Digital Cameras
Got a smartphone? Then you probably don’t own a camera (or it’s in a messy drawer somewhere taking up space.) While professional photographers and those who love the process of photographic art will still have separate cameras, the truth is, new smartphones are taking better quality pictures and are more convenient for the casual user.
Also, the pictures are readily accessible and are able to be edited easily, and shared right away. Why would anyone want to lug around another item that can be lost or broken?
12. Supermarket Cashiers
Have you noticed the do-it-yourself, check-out machines in your local grocery store? If you haven’t, you will soon! Studies show that in 2013, there were 191,000 self-checkout units worldwide, and the number is estimated to increase to 325,000 units by 2019.
Checkout machines are smaller than traditional, human-manned machines, faster, and cheaper to run.
13. Print Newspapers
Look around your neighborhood and observe how many people get their newspapers delivered. Twenty years ago you’d see practically one on every doorstep! Unfortunately, times are changing. The internet, along with mass media, social media, and blogs have diminished the necessity of newspapers in our lives.
We get our information from other digital sources, which is clear from the drop in newspaper revenue. Studies have shown that nearly two-thirds of newspaper ad revenue has dried up over the past 10 years, and circulation has fallen by a third. Experts do think it’ll hang in longer than expected, but the digital drain will ultimately lead to its demise.
14. The Yellow Pages
It seems like only yesterday that every home had a big, thick, yellow book filled with any service that you could possibly want including a plumber, manicurist, or doctor. These days the internet has all but consumed the old yellow page business.
Declines for the Yellow Pages began in 2007, and it was reported that in 2010 print took in $8.7 billion in advertising, and only $3 billion in 2016.