Slowly but surely, the amount of materials and devices that litter your home is shriveling up. The TV, desktop computer, and everything in between are destined to become one solitary device or system that is your portal to all communications, functions, media, and knowledge that is available to you. Picture an object no bigger than the latest iPhone 4S, but with the power to project a 72-inch HD image onto a wall while remotely handling the climate control of your home five miles away. It’s not a possibility, it’s an inevitability.
While we aren’t quite there yet, it’s worth listing five of the more bulkier mainstays of the household landscape that are now just about gone for good thanks to the prevalence of smartphone technology:
While most American families haven’t gathered around the radio for probably at least half a century, the kitchen radio used to rock out during cleaning and cooking sessions has remained a component of most living situations despite the age of the Walkman and beyond. But with the advent of Pandora, and the ability to plug a phone packed with tunes into virtually any speaker system, who needs the AM/FM radio?
The Phone Book
The online white pages directory has existed for sometime, but previous incarnations have historically been lousy at keeping up-to-date information. That’s definitely no longer the case, and the ability to instantly access such information through the very device used to establish a potential connection has made the phone book an archaic waste of paper product.
The Gaming Console
Sure, there’s no way that smartphones are going to come close to the realism and revolutionary environments inherent with the latest PC and game console releases. But smartphone-optimized games have been cutting into the major game market for sometime now, something traditional game developers consider to be a serious risk to their companies. Kids are preferring to play games on their phones instead of on systems, and parents are more willing to buy a $1 download versus a title priced at $59.99.
The saddest sight to see disappear from most homes, the bookshelf and its holdings are becoming irrelevant. While Google Books and other smartphone apps are definite reasons for the reduced number of printed titles being bought, credit also needs to be given to the tablet and Amazon e-readers.
The best thing to see most families get rid of, the smartphone has sealed the fate of home printers. The expensive and environmentally-negligent method of holding onto information is irrelevant when documents can be stored and emailed with ease, and when things like directions can be provided to you in real-time on the road via smartphone technology.
We aren’t at the technological singularity yet, or even to the point where every modern function we could possibly ever need is accessible through a pocket-sized device, but look around and it’s clear that we’re on our way. When room opens up to get a bigger TV or to buy a new lamp, stop and consider how your smartphone made that possible.