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R.I.P. Sony Walkman and the Future of Other Technology

By (view all posts by SavingsIQ)
at 10:58AM Tuesday October 26, 2010
under Newsworthy

Yesterday Sony announced they were ceasing sales of the Sony Walkman cassette player in Japan. This news brought fond memories of me laying on my bed in the 90s listening to mix tapes that my friends or I had made each other. Those days are long gone and I definitely can't remember the last time I came across a cassette.

Also becoming obsolete are music CDs. When was the last time you bought one? For me, I just usually download music on iTunes and sync to my iPod. CDs are bulky and take up too much space. Of course, you can still download music from iTunes onto a CD. But, if you want to go on a run with music, iPod is the way to go.
The venerable Sony Walkman joins the ranks of other obsolete technology such as Betamax and VHS tapes and Video recorders/players, typewriters, floppy discs and vinyl records.  Coming up on the endangered species list:

Fax machines - Please let these machines go out of style soon. I just don't get why they are still around. Who owns a fax machine? I sure don't and don't know anyone else who does. Unless you are running a business, a fax machine is pointless. Just email it and attach it! Or if you really need to fax something use eFax, internet fax to email.

Land lines - Yeah, home phones are going out of style. I haven't had one in ten years. I don't see the point since I have a cell phone and even though it only works about 80% of the time (thanks AT&T), it's still cheaper than having a land line. Why pay for an extra line and answering machine when you can get all your calls, texts, voice mails, internet access, and social networking on one device? Save money and nix the land line.

Photo prints - When was the last time you used a camera with film? I own one but haven't used it in years. Hello, digital camera! Point, shoot, snap and view all within a minute. Talk about instant gratification. No one wants to wait one hour to get their photos developed. Plus, you don't have to be worried about any uncensored photos you may take. I remember my mom taking our photos to Costco and having to wait a few days to get them back. Wow. Times have changed.

So, what are some cool technology we can look forward to?

Nokia has come up with a conceptual cell phone that charges in your pants using your body heat. The E-Cu uses an integrated thermogenerator that converts heat into energy. This means it gets a small charge against your body and a huge charge when set on top of a radiator. How cool is that? I am constantly charging my iPhone throughout the day and if this phone came to fruition, I would be first in line to buy it.

Cultivating fruits and vegetables in a capsule is another intriguing concept. No more having to find soil in your background, planting seeds and watering them. This indoor farm concept, Origin, eliminates the use of land and produces almost anything the user wants. I'm all for this. Fresh produce at the touch of a button!

Ladies, do you forget or hate taking your birth control pills? Well, fear not. There will soon be a topical contraceptive gel which you apply to shoulders, arms, legs or abdomen on a daily basis and is similar to the Patch already out on the market. This apparently has no side effects such as the dreaded weight gain or sickness associated with the Pill. And it won't fall off like the Patch. Two thumbs up!

From phonograph and vinyl albums, to cassette tapes and Sony Walkmans, to digital files and MP3 players, I predict the the next evolution in music listening technology is a smart device that you stick in your ear and plays your choice of music without any buttons. Similar to the Bluetooth ear pieces that people use with phones, except in cooler colors. Or maybe it will double as phone, too. You never know.

What are some cool concepts or ideas you have for future technology? What do you think will become obsolete in five years?