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Thread: Your favorite hypothetical Obsolescence by 2050

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    Your favorite hypothetical Obsolescence by 2050

    Phillipe Lemay posted a thread on hypothetical technologies by 2050 here:
    http://www.bautforum.com/showthread....050-innovation.

    What devices/technologies can you picture being gone by 2050?

    This morning, I dvr'ed 120 Minutes and my kids could not make heads or tails of the images in the title credits. They were negatives, solarized pictures and Polaroids.

    I predict that that the separation between data and voice on phones will be gone, and the idea of "calling" someone will be history. Instant on connections will be the order of the day. I also suspect that TV as a pre-programed stream of shows will also be eliminated by social media. TV events will still occur, but will be created by collections of like minded people.
    Last edited by Solfe; 2010-Nov-20 at 04:36 AM. Reason: one of these days, I will post typo free.
    Solfe

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    Paperback books

    Incandescent lights*

    Pneumatic tires

    Desktop computers, maybe.

    I'm sure there'll still be geeks who'll want capacity beyond what a 2050 laptop (or whatever they're using then) will give them, and will make their own from components, but as far as major companies manufacturing whole ones . . .











    *Virtually gone, I'm sure there will still be a niche market for those who like the aesthetics of antique-style incandescent bulbs.
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    The SAT.

    Hopefully.
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    fossil fuels

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    Geneaology software. Large, international ancestry databases would make them obsolete.

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    Interesting about the desktops computers. As a hobby, I write sci-fi (which no one else will read) and I keep the computers about the same size as today's models. I sort of figure without a great interface, today's machines are as small as manageable. Of course the computational power is much higher, as is the memory in these stories. In these cases I usually introduce a reason for not using it, like the user not interested in cranking numbers as much as accessing/storing information. My main gimmick in these stories is to have the portable units break down into smaller parts, so it fits in a couple pockets with the display/touch screen on a lanyard. Desktops have removable laptops so, the user is simply leaving a chassis with the bells and whistles being left behind (like high quality mikes, speakers and monitors/projectors).

    Do you think that the laptop units of 2050 will have corresponding furniture to make them as usable as current desktops or better ergonomics to make the just as good?
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Do you think that the laptop units of 2050 will have corresponding furniture to make them as usable as current desktops or better ergonomics to make the just as good?
    By 2050, most of the peripherals will be small, I'd imagine. They already have video projectors that fit in cellphones.

    Screens could be as thin as a sheet of paper, and unspool like a scroll. They could be active holographic screens via optical phased array technology. The same screen could also double as a video camera.

    Keyboards could be physical, or projections on tables. Both of which already exist. Myself, I'd prefer the tactile of a physical keyboard. Typing on a surface that doesn't yield would be awkward, at least if one is writing in any serious volume. I write on a laptop, so I don't need much vertical give to the keys for it to be comfortable.

    Foldable keyboards have existed for years. I first saw these something like a decade ago.

    Speakers as we now know them could be replaced by phased audio arrays, which could also double as fantastic microphones. They could be paper-thin, and they could direct the sound so it only goes to your ears, if you don't want to bother the people around you.

    As to the ergonomics, my laptop is my desktop. It's not a comfortable position for me to keep it on my lap, and it's too hot.

    Maybe the future laptop will be kind of like the iPad, but not worthless. When you need to type you connect a foldable keyboard to it, but the rest of the time it's a touch screen or you make hand and eye gestures in front of it to control it.
    Calm down, have some dip. - George Carlin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Interesting about the desktops computers. As a hobby, I write sci-fi (which no one else will read) and I keep the computers about the same size as today's models. I sort of figure without a great interface, today's machines are as small as manageable. Of course the computational power is much higher, as is the memory in these stories. In these cases I usually introduce a reason for not using it, like the user not interested in cranking numbers as much as accessing/storing information. My main gimmick in these stories is to have the portable units break down into smaller parts, so it fits in a couple pockets with the display/touch screen on a lanyard. Desktops have removable laptops so, the user is simply leaving a chassis with the bells and whistles being left behind (like high quality mikes, speakers and monitors/projectors).

    Do you think that the laptop units of 2050 will have corresponding furniture to make them as usable as current desktops or better ergonomics to make the just as good?
    just about any smart phone has enough processing power to do most of what people us personal computers for. The main exception is gaming and that's moved towards consoles and portables not to different from smart phones. Give them a docking station for a full size keyboard/monitor and most people simply don't need a PC

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    Quote Originally Posted by lomiller1 View Post
    just about any smart phone has enough processing power to do most of what people us personal computers for. ... most people simply don't need a PC
    Can it run a full TeX installation? InDesign? Photoshop? CorelDraw!? Finacial accounting software? Drive a scanner? Etc.

    You might be surprised how many people use their machines for more than just BAUT, Facebook, Skype, and a game or two.

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    Probably me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kleindoofy View Post
    Can it run a full TeX installation? InDesign? Photoshop? CorelDraw!? Finacial accounting software? Drive a scanner? Etc.

    You might be surprised how many people use their machines for more than just BAUT, Facebook, Skype, and a game or two.
    Depends on what you are trying to do. Most of those have run on systems much less powerful then today smart phones. For the more intensive graphics rendering and image manipulation gaming consoles could do the job nicely, but the truth the vast majority of people hardly ever tax the processing power available in today PC's. Sadly the most demanding software most people run is their OS.

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    External monitors and computers. They will be embedded into us. Also cell phones will be embedded as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kleindoofy View Post
    Can it run a full TeX installation? InDesign? Photoshop? CorelDraw!? Finacial accounting software? Drive a scanner? Etc.

    You might be surprised how many people use their machines for more than just BAUT, Facebook, Skype, and a game or two.
    most people older than me that know think that the Yahoo and Google main pages are "the internet".. my mom once got confused when i installed firefox on her new computer a couple of years ago because the icon i told her to click said "firefox" instead of "the internet" like the old "blue e" symbol said.. once i changed the name of the firefox icon on her desktop to "the internet", she stopped having problems getting to the internet page- the one that says "Yahoo" on it...
    like it or not, she is probably pretty much the average pc user over the age of about 30..

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    I worked in an office and some of the staff used an IBM electric typewriter (in 2006-07) to complete form letters that were printed from a Word doc. I explained that it was easier to just customize the letter when needed and print it, instead of storing a drawer full of form letters. It turned out they had tons of these letters and many of them were sent as faxes and filed. So I showed them how to "send a fax" from the pc instead of print on paper.

    A week later I was asked to look at some of their other processes and streamlined those too. My suggestions gave them enough manpower to start helping other departments with their tasks AND that was enough to justify hiring one more staffer. We put this person in to the cube where the typewriter sat, the typewriter having been hauled out the trash or recycling bin. This woman we hired was so good at what she did, she streamlined her own tasks enough that she could train two existing employees to do her job and was promptly promoted out the department. There were almost fist fights over keeping her in our department, she was so highly valued, but she was not aware of this.

    A few weeks after her promotion, she came up to me and said "PFFT! I thought you guys missed me? I was replaced with a typewriter!" Sure enough, someone had hauled that old IBM typewriter back into the office as soon as there was a space for it... I was still there at the beginning of 2010 when I left the company to go back to school.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Paperback books
    Incandescent lights*
    Pneumatic tires

    *Virtually gone, I'm sure there will still be a niche market for those who like the aesthetics of antique-style incandescent bulbs.
    I think there are more good applications for incandescent bulbs than just aesthetic. In the case where the luminosity required is low, period of illumination is short, and fast switch on is desirable, total life-cycle costs/carbon of incandescent lights can be the most efficient solution. So for something like the light inside your fridge, warning lights on dashboards, etc, incandescent can actually be the most economical technology. We shall see if LEDs can become cheap enough to replace this.*

    Can't see any kind of decent replacement for pneumatic tyres anywhere on the horizon. Sadly. The current generation of solid tyres for bicycles has not been successful.

    Paper books are an excellent robust, reliable, very cheap, technology permitting durability, reuse, and no energy consumption. Don't see those going out very fast.

    Extension of reliable electricity to poor parts of the world remains rather slow. Certain simpler technologies will be persistent in such places. Given the Nigerians have been little able to advance converting the large amounts of gas currently being flared off to electricity, despite promises to do so, places without such easy access to the fuel will find it much harder.

    *LED bulbs are said to last for a very long time, but I've had two or three rather expensive LED bulbs fail after little use. I suspect this is more to do with the incorporated circuitry, which is less reliable than the LEDs themselves.

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    Just a few guesses; none are big surprises or stretches:

    --Media storage discs will be replaced by streams and downloads, undoubtedly much sooner than 2050.

    --Print books will become much less common, both due to declining readership and the rise of e-books and iPad-like devices; they won't become obsolete, though. The secondhand market will probably remain vigorous, though.

    --Cathode ray tubes are already on their last legs.

    --The one big if: Broadcast radio.

    --Landlines, save for businesses, institutions, and public stations.

    --The commercial airplane design current for decades will be slowly phased out in favor of more fuel-efficient ones.

    --Indoor malls are already on the way out; larger outdoor complexes are more cost-efficient.

  17. #17
    --Indoor malls are already on the way out; larger outdoor complexes are more cost-efficient.
    Yeah but in colder climates have an indoor space that is heated between stores is nice. But yes box stores lined up against each other is the things will go then mostly to the internet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I predict that that the separation between data and voice on phones will be gone, and the idea of "calling" someone will be history.
    I don't agree... I may want to call somebody only by audio...

    1) for privacy -- you know, being at the bathroom, being with people I don't want to be associated with... etc.

    2) for the convenience of using my eyes to drive or to read, or everything else...


    My prediction: mandatory automatic driving in the big cities

    the GPS software drives my car, I'm just a passenger
    during rush hours, all cars are driven by software.
    The virtual semaphore software knows where each
    car wants to go and coordinates them -- they don't
    stop and go -- they move at the unison.

    there is a recent article about that:

    "Scientific American" december 2008 p.86

    and also a jap anime... (good animation, poor plot)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89X-Driver
    Last edited by Barabino; 2010-Dec-20 at 01:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabino View Post
    ... for privacy -- you know, being at the bathroom ...
    Winston Churchill: "tell the Lord Privy Seal ..."

    (google it, and you'll know what I mean ...)

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    What'll be obsolete? Probably me, I'll be 102. With the rate of advancement in medicine I may well still be around, but doubt if I'll be contributing much to society.

    Quote Originally Posted by Romanus View Post
    --The commercial airplane design current for decades will be slowly phased out in favor of more fuel-efficient ones.
    I half expect Boeing to be announcing yet another 737 derivative around then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Romanus View Post
    --Indoor malls are already on the way out; larger outdoor complexes are more cost-efficient.
    That would be called "downtown".
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    the mouse... the keyboard... email... text?

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    As an avid PC enthusiast (only tech boards get more visits from me than BAUT), I am sorry to concur with the death of the desktop, but much much sooner (2015ish). Yes, proper workstations will still be around, but a very large number of companies are investing in the technologies that are obsoleting the desktop, and soon thereafter offline PC gaming. Rhetoric to the contrary, NVidia's response to the AMD-ATI merger for example is clearly based on the decline not only of the desktop, but of the once all-powerful x86 instruction set. We will get some nice goodies in return, such as full cloud profiles, including all applications, available to be run on cloud servers or alternately downloaded and restored as needed. UEFI BIOS replacements will soon provide enough functionality for ultra-fast booting into a mini-OS web-enabled environment, from whence one may either boot into a full OS or rely on the cloud alone.

    By 2050, I expect Microsoft to be a dying niche player, Google to still be kicking, and to access the web easily via my eyeglasses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidlpf View Post
    --Indoor malls are already on the way out; larger outdoor complexes are more cost-efficient.
    Yeah but in colder climates have an indoor space that is heated between stores is nice. But yes box stores lined up against each other is the things will go then mostly to the internet.
    i don't think the indoor enclosed shopping mall is in any danger of ever becoming obsolete up this way. the modern enclosed shopping mall was invented in MN, taken to whole new levels of bigness in MN, and will probably live on forever in MN..

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    Ooh, nice touch here OP.

    - Unfortunately, many many species.

    - War. Call me an optimist, but I think it straight up doesn't make anymore sense in the modern internationally super-connected world. We will probably still have some militaries, but they will be heavily automated UAV & UGV machines that are really super powered coast-guards keeping the extremist and radical-minded in check.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    By 2050, I expect ... to access the web easily via my eyeglasses.
    YES. I love it, throw that one in the innovations thread.
    Artificial gravity and week-long interplanetary travel through linear acceleration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Viehoff View Post
    Can't see any kind of decent replacement for pneumatic tyres anywhere on the horizon. Sadly. The current generation of solid tyres for bicycles has not been successful.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tweel

    If not the future versions of these, then some other design.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Viehoff View Post
    Paper books are an excellent robust, reliable, very cheap, technology permitting durability, reuse, and no energy consumption. Don't see those going out very fast.
    Paperback books. You know, those things made from acidic paper that yellows and crumbles apart over fifty years, or so? That's their fate if they're read just a few times. If they're read more, they fall apart from wear.

    Hardbacks--I imagine physical libraries will be around for a long, long time--if only to be places where the physical antique originals are kept. There'll always be people who'll want new artisan-crafted books with really cool covers, fine binding etc. Some of them are fine art.
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    Cash.

    Eliminating coins and bills would squeeze various sorts of crime as well as render unnecessary some expensive infrastructure, so I imagine it's just a question of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasJ View Post
    Cash.

    Eliminating coins and bills would squeeze various sorts of crime as well as render unnecessary some expensive infrastructure, so I imagine it's just a question of time.
    Not all cash. I expect pennies and one-dollar bills, which are near useless today, to hang around forever in the USofA.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    As an avid PC enthusiast (only tech boards get more visits from me than BAUT), I am sorry to concur with the death of the desktop, but much much sooner (2015ish). Yes, proper workstations will still be around, but a very large number of companies are investing in the technologies that are obsoleting the desktop, and soon thereafter offline PC gaming.

    Off line PC gaming is already on life support. Standalone PC games are getting rare in their own right, and the last 3 good ones I have played all connected to online services (Dragon Age, Civ 5, FO3: New Vegas)

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    Yea, I heard somewhere that Starcraft 2 can't even be played without an internet connection. Not just the Battlenet multiplayer stuff but also the campaigns and single-player missions. All I could say was WTF? I enjoy playing without the incessant whine of extremist players (the super incompetent noobs at one end, and the religious gaming zealots at the other).
    Artificial gravity and week-long interplanetary travel through linear acceleration.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artific...r_acceleration

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barabino View Post
    ...

    My prediction: mandatory automatic driving in the big cities

    the GPS software drives my car, I'm just a passenger
    during rush hours, all cars are driven by software.
    The virtual semaphore software knows where each
    car wants to go and coordinates them -- they move
    at the unison.
    Said software had better be bug-free. It'd be pretty scary when you're put on a crash-path and aren't allowed to even even hit the brakes yourself.

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