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The Deathwatch

india Updated: May 28, 2011 20:16 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
Technology

Rahul is a true techie; lives and breathes gadgets, has all the latest gizmos, gets them before anyone else, is the ‘go to guy’ for advice – and is pretty much as cutting-edge as you can get. He uses an arsenal of technology every day.

A fax machine that enables him to send documents and letters, an Apple Newton PDA that makes sure his life is well-organised, a state-of-the-art 29-inch large screen CRT TV for his entertainment, a magical Polaroid instant film camera, he’s bought a CD Walkman but still uses his classic Walkman as most of his music collection is on tape, he’s upgraded his desktop computer to the latest 3.5 inch floppy disk format, and has also invested in a new dial-up modem that give him blistering speeds of upto 28.8 kbps.

Yes, Rahul is a techie of an era gone by. Almost everything that made him a true techie – each gadget and each device – is now as dead as the dodo. What is today the most amazing, the most cutting-edge, the biggest seller, omnipotent and powerful – a few years later is dead and buried. It’s impossible to predict the future, but if the past is any indication, then some of our favourite gadgets that rule the roost right now – will not exist in the near future.

iPadTV dies, not with a bang but with a whimper May 17, 2019:

It’s official. The Save The TV association today formally announced that after a prolonged and hard-fought battle, it was officially declaring the television dead. The Internet, watching streaming programming anytime and anywhere, YouTube, illegal downloading, Hulu, mobile phone TV, Bitorrents, iPlayer, Netflix and people’s preference for Internet Smart TV sounded the death knell for TV as we knew it. The collaboration between Google, Apple and Samsung called GasTV truly shook the very foundation of conventional TV.



Normal broadcast TV numbers started to dwindle in 2016 and today it’s almost impossible to sell a liquid air projection screen that does not have two way Smart Net features. But don’t throw away your old 100-inch OLED TV – keep it as a relic of a forgotten era. It may just have great antique value in a few years.

Tablets will survive, says new Apple CEO, rest of world smirks Dec 10, 2016:
The company that made Tablets a mainstream mass momentum product continued to fight a lone battle to keep the Tablet market from permanently flatlining. After almost every other company decided to abandon the market in 2014 after the tablet turned out to be more of a fad than a demand device. Over-hype and aggressive marketing had taken the market to 90 million Tablets sold in 2013 – but then the bubble burst.

Too many players, varied OSes, predatory pricing, cut-throat competition and razor-thin margins started the rot. Also, consumer realisation that just content consumption was not enough and creating documents and media on a Tablet was a frustrating experience was the second salvo. The third was a pure shift in technology – where foldable bendable screens on mobile phones led to 6- and 7-inch screen phones that could be folded to a mere one-inch device. People realised that they could do almost all they wanted on their super-screen super-smart phones. Apple continues to market the iPad 7 at US$ 49 – and finally added a USB port to the device. Sadly, it may not be enough.

smart phonesGoodbye music player, digital camera, E Ink Reader – we still love you Jan 11, 2030:

CES 2030 drew to a close and in a nostalgic event – ageing popstars Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber were invited to talk about yesteryear gadgets that had changed their lives. While Lady Gaga slept through the event in a rubber dress with a titanium bra worn outside, she did talk about her love for her portable music player that allowed her to carry her music. She said she no longer needed it as her foldaway phone, her all-new virtual laptop, her cloud player mated with her air gesture system – all could do the same.



Justin Bieber, while nervously pushing the few straggly hairs back on his balding pate, was more loyal to his old-style digital camera and his e-book reader. He correctly pointed out that while very high-end DSLR-level mobile camera phones had killed off the standalone camera – he still missed the look and feel of the bulky old devices. He also seemed to be a fan of the almost laughable and ridiculous e-book readers of yesteryear. Since Amazon abandoned the market and brought out its own tablets – the e-ink reader market had completely collapsed. Mirasol and Papyrus switch displays have completed the destruction.



Both Gaga and Bieber were presented with high-value vintage 2015 netbooks (the last year they were manufactured) at the end of the event. What else may not survive the relentless march of technology? Technology that reigns supreme now and yet in a few years – we may look back at it with wistful nostalgia. Unlimited broadband, the mouse and keyboard, all forms of radio, Facebook and Twitter are on top of my DeathWatch list. What’s on yours?

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3.
Follow Rajiv on Twitter at twitter.com/RajivMakhni

- From HT Brunch, May 29

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