21 Groundbreaking Technologies That Have All But Disappeared In The Digital Age

Published October 6, 2022
Updated October 10, 2022

From pagers to floppy disks, these pictures are sure to confuse the kids of today.

Floppy Disks
Walkman Old Technology
Disposable Cameras
Landline Old Technology
21 Groundbreaking Technologies That Have All But Disappeared In The Digital Age
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With technology advancing every second the world turns, the lifespan of many devices ends up being quite short. Some of these once-innovative objects were barely a decade old when we ushered in their modern-day replacements. However, a number of these pieces of old technology still hold a special place in society's collective memory.

Some of us may remember people excitedly buying standalone GPS units for their cars in the late 1980s. And in the late 1990s, anyone who was anyone seemed to own a PalmPilot device. But perhaps one of the most shocking recent additions to the deceased list is the famous iPod from Apple.

After the iPod launched in 2001, it was nearly impossible to imagine anything ever surpassing it. And yet, it happened — just six short years later — with the first iPhone. Now, according to Apple, even the most advanced version of the iPod touch has gone to that big charging station in the sky.

It's no surprise that many of these technologies were rendered obsolete by the same device: the modern smartphone. In fact, some estimate that the smartphone may replace up to 50 gadgets, both analog and digital.

All that said, just because newer technology is available doesn't automatically make the older ones unwanted or undesirable. Just ask the many collectors of vintage technology scouring eBay for that old VHS copy of Halloween you just threw out. According to Screen Rant, some people are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands for certain rare VHS tapes.

And the humble VHS tape is far from the only piece of old technology that's still in high demand in the online marketplace today. Antique typewriters, vintage cameras, and old media players are just a few other examples of devices that are still considered valuable by many collectors out there.

But another reason to reconsider throwing away old electronics is the impact that this type of trash has on the environment. According to The World Counts, E-waste accounts for about 70 percent of our overall toxic waste, and about 85 percent of that E-waste ends up in landfills and incinerators, where they often pollute the surrounding land, water, and air.

As striking as it is to see how far we've come with technology, it's worth keeping in mind that some devices we use today may very well be rendered obsolete in the future as well. After all, as long as there are people, there will be advancements. In turn, there will be extinct technology. Alas, for every device we think is at the absolute peak of its mechanical function, there is another technological marvel ahead just waiting to replace it.

After looking through these photos of old technology, go inside the little-known history of who invented the internet. Then, take a look at the oldest computer in the world and its fascinating origins.

Erin Kelly
An All That's Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she's designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Kelly, Erin. "21 Groundbreaking Technologies That Have All But Disappeared In The Digital Age." AllThatsInteresting.com, October 6, 2022, https://allthatsinteresting.com/old-technology. Accessed June 21, 2024.