I recently visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. and was slightly disturbed that I can now see things from my childhood featured in a museum. Seriously, I am not that old! Big cell phones, tapes and the first DVD players were all featured in a wonderful display case showing the dead technologies of our past. Looking at these gadgets made think of the things that will be featured in this display 10 years from now. Here are three things I expect to see in the museum in the future.

  1. The laptop: The laptop has been around since 1969 and while it has advanced tremendously over the years, I believe it is only a matter of time before the laptop finds its place in the museum.  Even technologies like the Ultrabook, which is expected to be everywhere at CES 2012, isn’t a mind blowing innovation. According to a Fast Company article titled “Is the laptop dead? Yup.,” the Ultrabook is “proof that the laptop is now an evolutionary dead end in computer history.” With the advancements being made in cloud computing and tablets, laptops may very soon be replaced by these devices.
  2. “Big” smartphones: My first cell phone was on the larger side and I soon transitioned to the Motorola Razr. As I moved into the world of smartphones, I purchased the smaller BlackBerry Pearl and as touch screen technology became more prevalent I upgraded to the larger, bulky BlackBerry Storm. A few smartphones later including Androids and the iPhone, one thing stays consistent: they are just BIG. While today we enjoy the large screens and capabilities, I predict that much like the traditional cell phone went from big and bulky to a small razor thin phone, the smartphone will also become small and sleek with all the functionality we enjoy today and more. I personally am looking forward to the credit card sized gadget featured in the “Productivity Future Vision” video from Microsoft.
  3. Portable GPS and navigation devices: With the technology available on every smartphone and smartphones becoming more and more prevalent in the market, the future for aftermarket GPS and navigation devices doesn’t seem very bright. Even those that don’t have smartphones will likely have this technology available directly in their vehicles through technology integrated by the OEMs like Ford Sync.

While it may take some time for these technologies to die out, I do envision seeing these innovations in a future visit to the museum. What technologies do you think will die?  

— Deana Goodrich is a senior account executive at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.