Do you remember 10 years ago when Blockbuster and Rogers video were booming? Renting games and movies seemed like the perfect idea. At that time, no one ever thought that a business like this could end up being remote. But as technology began to advance, it was only a matter of time before these two companies eventually closed down. Everyday things we use are constantly changing or advancing, it’s just a matter of “when will it happen?”
If our world didn’t advance in technology, we wouldn’t have the internet, cell phones, aircrafts or cars. It’s unfortunate that our technology could one day be the reason the earth fails, but if we don’t advance then the human race will fail. Part of living is being able to adapt to change.
With that said, below are some of the everyday things we use that could become obsolete in the near future.
Keys: Some people still use keys to get into their house, but that technology is quickly being transferred to your smartphone. The smartphone will take over the key industry because you will be able to program your locks on your phone. There is already an app that allows you to lock and unlock your home from any mobile device. So if your phone dies, you can just log in using a different phone. Getting into your car without a key is already in motion. Audi Connect and GM’s OnStar already give you the option to lock and unlock the car remotely.
Blackout: A few things are being implemented that could prevent power outages from happening ever again. Smart grid improvements are being done to the systems. They deliver electricity and use solar energy in homes. The other factor is the home battery, which was designed by electric-car maker Tesla. The battery will be cheap enough to store surplus power during the day and discharge it at night. This will help run a home for days if a sudden blackout occurs.
Fast Food Workers: This is already being phased out as we speak. If you go to a lot of the McDonald’s chains, they have an automated machine that will take your order. It will print you a receipt with an order number on it and you just pick up your food when you hear the number. With minimum wage constantly rising, these companies are looking to save money and invest in something cheaper and more efficient.
College Textbooks: Teachers are already putting their notes and slides online for students to read. Eventually, every school book will be available to purchase and use on a tablet or even your phone. The convenience is there, but what could be an issue is when there are problems accessing the content. There was never a problem accessing a book, but I am sure companies will cover all of these issues.
Mailbox Collection: You remember that blue mailbox that everyone was using to dump their mail in? Those are quickly becoming obsolete. From 2004 to 2015, people who were sending mail dropped by 57%. So US Postal services have been cutting back on making those blue mailboxes. To save time and fuel, the USPS monitors the usage of all the boxes and will pull any that don’t see enough traffic. You will still find a lot of them around shopping areas, but don’t get used to seeing it at the corner of your street.
Privacy: As helpful as the internet is for society, it also strips us from one of our freedoms; privacy! If you are using the internet, you better believe that you are already being watched. Every mouse click and every keystroke is tracked. What’s worse is that the list of tracking devices is only going to increase. They will eventually be added to lights, locks and even trash cans. The apps that are used to help you track your heartbeat, or even WIFI signals, are tracking devices.
Money: It’s already clear that electronic money is the future. Countries are already cutting back on using paper. Paying your bills and transferring your money can already be done online or over the phone. Most places allow you to pay with debit or credit, so carrying around money doesn’t make any sense. Sending money to people takes five minutes with the use of e-transfers.
Surgeons: With artificial intelligence quickly being developed, skilled professionals in the medical field could be out of a job in the near future. Robotic solutions are quickly gaining control of the industry, so it’s a possibility that they could take over major operations and surgeries. However, there could be a lot of backlash. If the robot malfunctions and kills a patient, what happens then?