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Technologies Review | August 18, 2018

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Our Robot Overlords: 5 Devices That Are Replacing Classic Items

Our Robot Overlords: 5 Devices That Are Replacing Classic Items
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  • On February 1, 2013
  • http://technologiesreview.com

We’ve all seen these past two decades the slow but inevitable transformation of our society thanks to advances in science and technology. While many lament the passing of the good old days when you could read your paper on the subway rather than browse CNN.com or catch up to the latest buzz going through the Twittersphere there are a lot of people who embrace the transition. Like it or not, the current pace of technology has significantly improved many aspects of our lives, often by making menial, ‘analog’ jobs obsolete. Here are 5 items that are on their way out, soon or already replaced by their tech equivalents.

Vacuum Cleaners
Some of us might remember the days of door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesmen with nostalgia. Most will remember them with irritation. People knocking on your door at 8 o’clock in the morning on a Saturday are perhaps not the ones you’ll remember fondly. But did you ever imagine that your vacuum-cleaner will be walking, or rather rolling, around on its own? That’s exactly what we have nowadays thanks to Roombas. The little robots clean your place up and charge themselves all on their own. If this isn’t something right out of the Jetsons, I don’t know what is!

Cigarettes
Cigarettes are bad for you. Everybody knows that, which is why governments and concerned citizens are enacting new smoking laws every year. And still millions of people all over the world die because of tobacco. But things no longer have to be like that, thanks to e-cigs. E-cigs come in a variety of brands like blu cigs, v-smoke or bull smoke but they all work on little liquid cartridges that connect to a battery and you get to inhale the nicotine vapors directly instead of carcinogen-ridden smoke. With smoking bans getting harsher every year we might soon see nothing but e-cigarettes being smoked in public everywhere.

Encyclopaedias
Remember the good all days when knowledge was something you either had in your head or in these monstrous multi-tome collections? Well not anymore. Nowadays you can just log on to Britannica online or Wikipedia to get your quick and loose facts. These wonderful bookcase stuffers are all but gone.

Manufacturing
You might have heard of something called a 3D printer. Right now it’s only used to make these small bits and bobs like custom scale models and design proofs but give it a few more years and you’ll see one of these devices in almost every home. You want a new smartphone case? Easily done. A memorable centrepiece for your table? Give it a minute. In fact give it a few more years and we might see truly advanced 3D printers that can not only ‘print’ phone cases for you but the phone itself!

You
Think of it this way… You’ve got cars that drive themselves. Devices that can make more devices, all the information in the history of the world and robots that can do stuff a lot better than you The future is looking bleak for a lot of us and it will either be an unemployed utopia or a garden of Eden where all our needs are fulfilled by robots. It’s all up to us.