Going, Going … Gone! IEEE Community Predicts Devices Headed to the 2013 Gadget Graveyard
Cable boxes, DVDs, and MP3s Top the List of Extinct Electronics in CES Poll
16 January 2013 – IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization, today announced that several entertainment gadgets will become extinct, desktop computers will live on, mobile phones will not be used as all-in-one devices, and paper will still be plentiful this year. These insights were among the key findings of the 2013 Gadget Graveyard, a Facebook application where more than 1,700 IEEE members, engineers, engineering students, and CES attendees cast more than 25,000 votes, deciding which devices they think will bite the dust by year-end and which will live on.
The Gadget Graveyard was open to all for online voting from 4 January to 11 January. IEEE also offered CES attendees the opportunity to vote in its booth, where participation was encouraged by a life-like 3D rendering of Thomas Edison, one of IEEE’s founding members.
“The Gadget Graveyard results have telling implications about the rapid pace of advancement in technology,” said Stefan Mozar, President of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society. “In the technology industry, we tend to think about ‘what’s next.’ But it’s also important to revisit the value of heritage devices and remember that despite constant innovation, it can take time for new technology to gain widespread adaptation.”
A cloud of entertainment
Gadgets for movies, television, and music are most likely to “bite the dust” this year. Respondents voted that CD-ROMs (75 percent), radios (58 percent), MP3 players (55 percent), DVDs (53 percent), and cable boxes (51 percent) will enter the Gadget Graveyard by the end of 2013. As Internet streaming services continue to rise in popularity, traditional media devices will likely be less relevant with consumers.
Not as mobile as you think
Desktop computers will live on, at least for another year. The computing power of tablets and smart phones has not reached a point where people are ready to give up their towers, with three out of five voters (62 percent) indicating that desktops will not enter the Gadget Graveyard.
All-in-one … who cares?
While many smart phones have the ability to take great pictures, provide directions from point A to point B, and host apps that can lock the car, many voters aren’t ready to say goodbye to their single-function devices. In fact, the majority of voters believe cameras (75 percent), car keys (60 percent), and GPS systems (58 percent) will survive another year.
People love paper
Despite the ever-growing availability of laptops and tablets, the majority of voters said spiral-bound notebooks will hang around (64 percent).
“We’re reaching a real turning point in technology’s history where there’s no need for devices we’ve relied on for decades,” Mozar said. “Many of today’s students never touch a pencil; they take class notes on laptops and tablets. But as the Gadget Graveyard results verify, the ‘old-fashioned’ way is still the best way to get some things done.”
Other paper-based items, including printers (81 percent) and printed money (74 percent), also topped the list of gadgets least likely to die out in 2013.