Industry 4.0 is bringing us tons of innovations and inventions, but for every new thing that is developed, there is something that becomes obsolete. Let’s take a look through the ‘dead tech’ of 2017-2018.
Here at Edgy Labs, the passing of tech into obsolescence is a special occasion. We rejoice for those things around us that pass from the dustbin into the pages of history.
It’s easy to lose track of technology that falls out of use. Although it’s often sad to see some of our once beloved tech pass into obscurity, it is also a sign of the rapid innovation and development that is occurring in our Industry 4.0.
So, as we begin 2018, I think it’s a good idea for us to remember some of the tech we lost last year.
The list covers five items, some filled with memories, and others full of empty hopes and dreams. Of course, all are quite dead.
Let’s start on a sentimental note. Our first recently deceased technology is a messaging app from the days before ‘app’ was even a common word.
1. AOL Instant Messenger
This one kind of hurts, if I’m being honest. America Online (AOL) was my very first ISP.
Back when 56k modems were the standard, AOL had a huge national presence in the United States. They offered internet service coupled with their own software, and while that software had its own problems (like not being able to close your browser without leaving the internet), its messaging app was one of its shining gems.
In its heyday, AOL Instant Messenger was far and away one of if not the most used messenger applications around the world. But that ended in 2017.
I’m not going to bore you with the story of how AOL went from huge to obscure. Suffice it to say that the world moved on, and on Dec. 15, 2017, Verizon announced the end of AIM.
If you were on the Internet at the turn of the millennium, then you likely have some memories of using AIM. You may even remember your screen name. Now, though, that information is the stuff of memories.
I’m sure those memories are fond for many of you, though it’s certain that AIM had some of the earliest attempts at trolling known to the internet.
Our next entry is a bit different. Instead of being the stuff of memories, it’s more the stuff of broken dreams.
2. Windows Phones
For years, Microsoft tried to compete in the cell phone market. However, in October, Microsoft finally declared the defeat of the Windows 10 Mobile platform.
According to them, “the volume of users is too low for most companies to invest.” In other words, they just couldn’t carve out enough of the mobile market to stay profitable.
It’s not all bad, though. Users of a Windows phone will be pleased to hear that the company will still keep up with existing products for now. As long as they are keeping up with the bug fixes and security updates, the phones themselves should hold up for a while.
In the end, Android and Apple phones just had too much of a core following for Microsoft to compete. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that either of those companies can’t make their users a bit unhappy, though.
Our next entry proves that they can do just that.
3. Headphone Jacks
Ok, I’ll admit a bit of bias against this one. I am not a fan of the apparent death of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Despite my unease, however, it seems clear that the big names in the Mobile tech industry disagree.
The headphone jack is the only entry on our list that isn’t technically dead yet. For instance, phones like the widely popular Samsung Galaxy S8 still have them. It’s a torchbearer, however, and if the next version of that model doesn’t have headphone jacks, you can safely bet that other manufacturers will follow suit.
As miffed as I am about the death of the 3.5mm jack, I realize that I can eventually accept it. It’s not like my old mobile device suddenly doesn’t work anymore.
Not like our next entry.
4. Logitech Harmony Link
The Logitech Harmony Link is a device that lets you control your TV through your phone, but not for long.
Back in September, Logitech announced that it would be killing off the product, but that’s not the really interesting bit of the death of the Harmony Link. The interesting part is how Logitech is handling it.
See, if you have a Harmony Link, then it’s basically going to be a brick after March. Logitech has offered a discount on a replacement, which, after some considerable backlash, became a free replacement. Not a good look for Logitech.
Speaking of looks, let’s move on to our last entry on this list of dead tech.
For the life of me, I cannot figure out how the idea for 3DTV caught on.
It’s fine for the movies, where you can have an IMAX-sized screen and the sound system to match. But if you thought losing your remote control was bad, try adding a pair of glasses into the mix. Aside from that, they can be very uncomfortable for those of us that wear glasses.
For now, the last of the holdouts such as LG and Sony have stopped supporting the feature in their new TVs. However, the idea could always come back into vogue.
Personally, I’m hoping that it doesn’t, but to each their own.