Technology is on track to transform the world as we know it, from self-driving cars to artificial intelligence and other advances in technology, businesses and jobs are under threat like never before. These technologies have the power to automate some more mundane tasks and jobs, and have the capacity to be truly revolutionary for companies which take them on board.
Although we are only speculating, we have identified several businesses and types of product which we expect will have disappeared by the time 2020 rolls around. To stay alive, many of these companies will have to adapt their products or simply disappear.
1. Taxi Companies
With decentralized driving apps such as Uber and Lyft, in addition to self-driving technologies, taking centre-stage, it is likely that this will cause taxi companies go out of business. Uber has already made a sizeable dent in the taxiing industry, and it is likely that the company will continue to do so.
2. Home Phone Companies
It is likely that by 2020, home telephones will be largely obsolete. At present, home phones are already used less frequently, and smartphones are fast outdoing old school landlines throughout homes across the world. It’s rare that you now meet somebody who does not own a smartphone, and the role which home phones now play is shrinking year-on-year.
3. Cinemas and Movie Theatres
Sales within this industry have been in a consistent decline as streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Video have become more popular. The cost of seeing a movie in the theatre is just as expensive as an entire month’s subscription to most popular streaming services, so it really is a no brainer.
4. Storage Media Manufacturers
CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, external hard drives and memory cards are fast becoming outdated technology as cloud storage, like Dropbox, becomes the more popular choice among consumers. As we strive to remain constantly connected to the digital world, most forms of physical data storage are going to become obsolete.
5. Print Magazine Companies
With the likes of Teen Vogue and Nylon getting rid of their print editions and offering the magazine exclusively online, it is likely that many print magazines will no longer be around by 2020. The majority of consumers now turn to virtual magazine subscriptions for convenience and out of environmental concerns. The companies themselves may not necessarily disappear, but their print offerings will.
6. Digital Camera Manufacturers
Modern smartphones can now shoot pictures and video in HD and, in many cases, outdo digital cameras in terms of quality and storage capacity. With consumers wanting more convenience, these clunky pieces of technology will quickly go out of fashion and may disappear within the next few years.
7. Manufacturers of Standalone GPS Devices
Again, thanks to the smartphone, owning a standalone GPS device is no longer a necessity. Modern smartphones can now do everything which a GPS device can do, and then some. Sales of standalone GPS devices have been on a constant decline as the smartphone has got better, and these are sure to fade out of existence within the next few years.
8. Calculators & Alarm Clocks
Most smartphones have both a calculator and alarm built in which can do everything these standalone devices are capable of. There’s now no need to own these two devices which are only capable of one function. In addition to an alarm clock, phone clocks also have a timer and stopwatch, too.
9. Analogue Watches
Although your luxury watch brands will always be around (think Rolex, Tag Heuer and Longines), smaller and more obscure brands may disappear as consumers opt instead to invest in smart watches. The need for owning an analogue watch will very soon disappear, with consumers instead only buying analogue watches when they are looking for a luxury timepiece.
10. Corded Headphone Manufacturers
OK, so maybe these companies won’t go out of business, but they will certainly need to provide a wireless alternative. With the wide range of wireless headphones currently offered by major companies such as Apple and Beats, consumers are starting to catch on to the convenience offered by these amazing devices which provide absolute freedom and eliminate the need to mess around with a wire every five minutes.