Brendan O’Reilly, CTO, O2 There is something quintessentially British about watching live sport. Whether it’s…Read more
5 things technology is about to make obsolete
Cameras, iPods, diaries, books, DVDs… the list of things your smartphone has relegated to dusty museum shelves is already long. With games consoles on their way to being next, what else could technology soon make as rare as an Android phone in an Apple shop? The O2 Gurus found out:
The humble lightswitch may soon disappear from our walls thanks to the Internet Of Things and your smartphone. There are already a number of smart lightbulbs out there, our favourite of which is the weird and wonderful Lightfreq. It’s a phone-controlled bulb, sure, but you can also use it as a speaker. And an intercom. And an alarm clock. Now that’s what we call multitalented.
- Plugs and wires
We can’t say we’ll be too devastated to say goodbye to the plug and its cabal of unsightly cables. We may still have several years to wait, but wireless electricity is coming. The idea is that it will be as ubiquitous as Wi-Fi, and power all your electronics over the air rather than needing any kind of plug. The good news for phones and tablets is that they’ll constantly be recharging so won’t need to contain such large batteries. That means they’ll be even smaller and thinner than today’s models.
- The driving test
Driverless cars are mere years away from hitting the road. Google has been testing its autonomous vehicles on Nevada’s highways since 2011, and the British government recently gave the go-ahead for UK companies to start trying their driverless wares on the road in 2015. In all probability, you’ll still have to learn how to drive in order to operate an automatic car – but we dream of the day when we can just punch in a destination and let the car do the rest.
We’ll probably always need some factories to churn out complex, expensive products like tablets, cars and furniture. But once we all have 3D printers in our homes, we won’t need them to make all those little bits and pieces that you don’t really need but somehow can’t live without. Things like pen lids, cookie cutters, hair clips, jewellery, and so on; you’ll just buy the source file online, then set your printer to work. And who knows – if NASA can use a 3D printer to fix up space stations, perhaps we’ll even be printing our own iPhones one day.
Even the smartphone isn’t safe. We know what you’re thinking: how will we turn the lights on and off? Don’t worry, the device as we know it may one day die out but all the smartphone functions we know and love will likely end up in another form. But whether that’s embedded into your skin, worn as a watch or in some other form factor product designers are yet to come up with, nobody knows.
What do you wish technology could kill off? Let us know in the comments below or by replying to us on Twitter @O2 with #o2guru.