- Older technology like landline phones, USB drives, alarm locks, and more will likely become obsolete in the next 10 years.
- Eco-friendly changes in the manner technology is created will likely render one-use plastic products and incandescent light bulbs useless in the coming decade.
- Keyless cars, security code-accessible doors, and wireless chargers will likely eliminate everyday inconveniences like losing keys and breaking charging cords.
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Your home is probably filled with items that would have seemed incredibly futuristic a decade ago. From smart speakers that can order pizza to lamps you can turn on with your phone, the modern home is bristling with cool innovations. It’s probably, however, hiding a few objects that are quickly becoming obsolete.
Here are a few things that will look totally bizarre to children 10 years from now.
Home phones will be things of the past.
- Alexander Shcherbak/Getty Images
It’s no secret that smartphones are ubiquitous. According to a 2017 report by the National Center for Health Statistics, less than 50% of American households still have a landline. That figure drops to 30% when surveying households of adults aged 25 to 34. In another 10 years, landlines will likely be as retro as telegrams.
House or car keys may seem pretty old-fashioned.
- Shutterstock/Robert Brown Stock
Kids of the future will likely never know the anxiety that comes with losing your keys. The next generation of cars and homes may use keyless entry solutions such as number pads, fingerprint scanners, or even facial recognition. App-connected-wireless smart-locks that allow you to secure your property with your phone are already on the market.
USB drives will likely be obsolete.
- Melia Robinson/Tech Insider
Gone are the days of swapping music with friends via thumb drive. With integrated online storage solutions becoming more commonplace, using a physical drive to move files between devices has already become a rare occurrence. In fact, many current generation computers don’t even include USB-A ports.
Physical credit cards might be scarce.
Using a physical credit card to do your shopping might soon become the exception rather than the rule. With the rapid rise of contact-less and smartphone-based payments, it may soon become standard to use your devices to pay for goods rather than plastic cards.
Physical buttons may become less common.
- Thomson Reuters
Modern smartphones are ditching physical buttons in favor of touchscreens and other sensors. Ten years in the future, it may be possible that most new tech will include touchscreen or even touchless interfaces instead of physical buttons.
Plastic shopping bags will probably seem unusual.
Plastic shopping bags have already been banned in 63 countries across the world, including China, France, New Zealand, Italy, Mexico, Kenya, and India. With the rising awareness of the environmental impact of single-use plastics, the kids of tomorrow will probably stash their groceries in reusable bags.
Cable boxes will be gone.
As more households make use of streaming services rather than traditional television packages, paying for an expensive cable service will eventually seem pretty retro. Even live television and sporting events are now available to stream, so expect to be packing up that cable box soon.
Charging cables could vanish.
In 10 years, that drawer full of tangled cords will hopefully be a distant memory. The advent of wireless charging and Bluetooth connectivity is already beginning to reduce the need for charging cords and cables. In another decade, the idea of plugging your phone into the wall will seem downright strange.
Phone books are already basically antiques.
- slobo/Getty Images
You probably can’t remember the last time you looked up a number in a real, paper telephone book. In 10 years, kids may not even recognize them. In fact, Yellow Pages stopped printing in the UK on January 2019.
Standalone GPS devices won’t be a thing anymore.
- Daniel McMahon / Business Insider
It seems like just yesterday that buying a standalone, dashboard-mounted GPS device for your car seemed totally cutting-edge. Now, many new cars come equipped with navigation tech and your smartphone is probably all you need to get from A to B. In a few more years, standalone GPS devices may be hard to find.
Graphing calculators may finally be retired.
Remember that time in high school you had to spend $100 on a calculator? The next generation of math students will likely just use a digital calculator instead. The sky-high price of the most popular graphing calculator hasn’t budged since 2004, even though its capabilities have long-since been matched by online tools and even free phone apps. In the future, schools may finally embrace cheaper and more modern math tools.
Alarm clocks will be fully replaced by phones.
If you’re like most people, your phone is probably what wakes you up in the morning. Standalone alarm clocks are already pretty rare outside of hotel rooms, and they’ll probably be completely gone in another 10 years.
CD or DVD racks will look puzzling to future kids.
- Wikimedia Commons
Though you may not be ready to let go of your DVD and CD collection just yet, the dominance of digital media is pretty well established at this point. In the future, furniture made to contain obsolete tech like CDs and DVDs will look pretty dated.
Digital cameras will be pretty rare.
For a long time, compact cameras served the needs of people who wanted to capture scenes from their daily lives but weren’t professional photographers. Now, those people just use their smartphones. Though many digital cameras do produce high-quality images, most people simply don’t want to carry two devices and will be satisfied with the ever-increasing power of phone camera technology.
Takeout menus will be obsolete.
It was once pretty common to have a stash of paper takeout menus. These days, ordering food often happens through an app, and most people browse menus online. The idea of perusing a paper takeout menu may seem archaic in 10 years.
Window air conditioners may disappear.
- China Photos/Getty Images
If you’ve ever lived in a summery climate, you probably know the pain of having an air conditioning unit into the window. And even if you’ve never used one yourself, the shape of an air-conditioner hanging out the window is pretty unmistakable. As more energy-efficient heating and cooling technology develops, integrated cooling systems will likely be the standard in most new homes.
Kids of the future will probably never use a checkbook.
- Flickr / Iris
The days of paying for groceries by check are well and truly behind us, and future kids may never pay for anything with a paper check. Most young people today rarely, if ever, pay by check. In 10 years, the thought might seem downright bizarre.
Incandescent light bulbs are already on their way out.
- Wikimedia Commons
Once the standard, incandescent light bulbs are currently being phased out of production and use in favor of more energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs. The European Union banned certain types of these bulbs in 2018, and they will almost certainly be relics of the past in another 10 years.