15 Useful Things That Will Be Obsolete by 2034

The world constantly evolves, and technology is at the forefront of that change. A decade ago, smartphones were still a novelty, and online streaming services were in their infancy. Now, it's hard to imagine life without them. Buckle up because the next ten years promise even more innovation. Let’s explore some everyday items or practices that will become obsolete by 2034.

1. Credit and Debit Cards

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With constant advancements in technology, there is a huge surge in the use of digital payment platforms. These particularly include Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay. People widely prefer them for the convenience and enhanced security they offer. Considering this, physical credit and debit cards are declining, and people may stop using them altogether. 

2. Incandescent Light Bulbs 

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The major reason incandescent light bulbs will become obsolete in the next few years is that people are becoming more environmentally conscious. Thus, they will likely replace them with energy-efficient counterparts like LEDs and compact fluorescent lamps, which use 75% less energy. Moreover, these options also last 25 times longer, making them a long-term investment. 

3. Remote Controls 

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Voice assistant technologies like Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit are replacing traditional remote controls. With these, you can control everything through your smart device, be it thermostats, lighting, or entertainment setups. This offers so much convenience that you can adjust these aspects even when away from home. 

4. Plastic Shopping Bags 

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Again, environmental concerns will play a major role in making plastic bags obsolete in the near future. In fact, many areas have already banned their use. Some have even imposed taxes to discourage their prevalence, so people would prefer reusable bags for their needs. Plastic, when burnt, contributes greatly to pollution; thus, this step is also crucial to keeping our surroundings safe.  

5. Checkbooks 

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Online banking systems have caused a significant decline in the use of checkbooks. Not only does this offer benefits like safe transactions, but it also reduces the use of paper. Moreover, checks can take several days to clear, prompting people to prefer electronic money transfers, which happen in a few seconds. 

6. Physical Media for Installing Software

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CDs and DVDs are becoming outdated for installing operating systems and apps. Everyone prefers downloading them from digital distribution platforms that offer ease of access. The best part is that they allow for instant updates and patches while reducing the hours spent on the installation process. It's an environmentally friendly approach, too, as it eliminates the need for plastic and paper. 

7. Hard Drives 

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Mechanical hard drives have almost disappeared from the world of technology and will soon become completely outdated. This is because people now prefer storing their data on cloud storage solutions. Solid-state drives are also gaining attention for their increased reliability. Since these drives do not have any moving parts, there is a minimal risk of mechanical failure. Moreover, they also facilitate quick data access and transfer. 

8. Cable Television 

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There's a significant shift from cable television to online streaming platforms, which is supported by several factors. For instance, streaming platforms offer access to a vast library of content, so you can watch anything you want without any limitations imposed by a broadcast schedule. Besides, it is cost effective, as a subscription to multiple streaming platforms often costs less than a standard cable package. 

9. Keys 

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It’s highly likely that digital keys or biometric systems for homes, cars, and offices would replace physical keys. There are various driving forces behind this, with security being the major one. Traditional keys can be copied or stolen; digital keys smoothly eliminate this risk. Similarly, biometric systems like fingerprint or facial recognition are unique to each individual, further offering higher safety levels. 

10. Plastic Straws 

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Single-use plastic straws pose a huge threat to the environment and marine life. Thus, many countries have already started using biodegradable options like paper or plant-based straws. Similarly, reusable straws like those made from glass, silicone, or stainless steel are also becoming popular. This sustainable shift exemplifies that plastic straws would disappear very soon from the market. 

11. Checkout Clerks  

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The need for checkout clerks at retail shops is gradually decreasing as automated systems like self-service kiosks come into the picture. These provide customers the flexibility to pay and purchase items without interacting with any human. For instance, Amazon Go utilizes a combo of cameras and sensors to track what shoppers have picked up and bill their accounts accordingly. 

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12. Physical Cash 

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With digital payment systems becoming more common and universally accepted, physical cash will likely go obsolete in the near future. In fact, countries like Sweden are already moving towards creating cashless societies, thanks to the convenience and efficiency offered by electronic transactions. Moreover, it also has economical benefits as this approach reduces the costs associated with printing of currency. 

13. Manual Driving 

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Those days aren’t too far away when you won’t have to drive your car to work. Instead, the vehicle would drive itself, supported by autonomous technology. Companies like Tesla and Google have already invested in this area, which indicates that the era of manual driving will soon end. Its benefits primarily include road safety and efficiency. 

14. Conventional Wristwatches 

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Smart watches will likely replace traditional wristwatches in the upcoming years because of their feature-packed capabilities. These functional pieces not only offer timekeeping but also allow you to track fitness and even tackle mobile notifications. Some of their other exceptional aspects include GPS navigation, heart rate monitoring, and the ability to answer calls. 

15. Paper Receipts 

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The shift from paper receipts to digital ones makes it easier for consumers to store and retrieve receipts for returns, warranties, and personal accounting. Moreover, digital receipts are easily accessible from mobile devices, offering convenience. Meanwhile, for businesses, digital receipts can help track purchasing behaviors more accurately to enable personalized marketing and improved inventory management. 

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