Five gadgets under threat of extinction

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This great photograph has just landed in the Shiny mailbox – a tricky photo to take, requiring a top-end camera, surely? Apparently not. This picture was taken using a mobile phone, specifically the Nokia N8. The photographer is Jason Hawkes, a professional aerial photographer who has created an image series for the Nokia HD Horizons project. “By its very nature, aerial photography is very difficult to do, so we’re pushing the limits of this camera as far as we can go,” said Hawkes about the 12-megapixel phone camera. But it’s fair to say phone cameras have come a very long way – begging the question: does this spell the beginning of the end for compact cameras?

Technological convergence – such as putting a camera on a phone – could see other familiar devices become redundant as well. We make some suggestions below for items that could go the way of the Betamax:

– Compact cameras
If the Nokia experiment is anything to go by, compact cameras are marked for death. Not to mention the hassle of transferring photos from them – shouldn’t they have web capability by now, so we could just move pictures directly onto the internet?

– Sat-nav devices
Google Maps does this for free now – there goes the market. For the moment the likes of TomTom can still differentiate themselves by adding ‘clever’ navigation that avoids tiny roads and traffic traps, needed by professional drivers. But Google is probably working on that.

– UBS sticks
Fiddly little things, always breaking apart in you bag too. It’s all cloud now – the big USB stick in the sky – and we like it.

– Video cameras
Again a market where a mobile phone will probably be enough for most of us: the amateurs and holidaymakers. Battery life may be an issue for any significant amount of filming, but that will change in time. In the future, top-notch batteries may threaten the music player market too, as your mobile will have enough juice to keep the tunes coming all day without running out.

– Chargers
Forget the universal mobile charger (by the way, what’s taking so long on that? Heel-draggers.). It’s going to be wireless charging in the future. LG has already started working on a charging pad, where you put your device on top of it for charging, not to mention Powermats and Duracell’s myGrid. How efficient.

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  • I really struggle to understand why you need to churn out these sorts of articles. It’s like a teacher asking a bunch of kids to list things on a chosen subject then all the kids putting their hands up shouting ‘I know, I know’.

    Instead of focusing on subject matters like this and the equally pointless ’10 reasons to buy or not to buy an iPad 2′ why don’t you look at where technology is going and write some informed and interesting articles which may provoke some interesting debate on here.


  • It would be advantage to some who can’t afford to buy a N8 camera phone or a DSLR camera. A digital compact camera is easy to buy then. A USB stick is very useful. The video camera, an advantage and affordable because of N8.

  • OK, I’ll take a run at this.
    Camera: While it may be true that high-end smartphones could displace point & shoot cameras, it’s debatable if they should. Nokia is one of the few manufactures who puts a decent camera in a phone, no matter the megapixels. For the others, just having a camera is enough. It doesn’t have to be a good one.

    SatNav: A dedicated device comes with the map data loaded in the machine. Smartphones (Nokia excepted) do not. This means (1)the dedicated SatNav will work when out of reach of a cell network. and (2)you don’t have to pay for cellular data to use it.

    USB Stick: OK but USB sticks are cheap, anyway and don’t require batteries.

    Video: Same arguments as for still cameras.

    Don’t have an opinion about the charger.

  • When you think about it, it’s true that technology is moving so quickly that some items will become exstinct just like the cassette tape player.

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