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Think back, way back, as far back as you can. Now stop. Think about the world as it was then. Think about the technologies you used, think about the appliances that filled your home. How did they function? For what did you use them?

Even if you’re in your twenties, thinking back ten to fifteen years, the world that surrounded you then was vastly different than the world that surrounds you today. I bet it would be hard to imagine this world back then. Just look at what happened to the internet in the past twenty years… Amazing. But let’s look at some of the other items that we use day in and day out. How have they changed? Have they completely fallen off the map into oblivion, never to be used again? It’s amazing to see  how some technologies wipe out others because of their simple practicality and functionality. Let’s look at some of the items.

Compact Technologies: What's Their Impact?

The Television

This is probably one of the items that you originally thought of in our thought experiment at the beginning of this article. But, how can we dismiss this iconic piece of technology. The television has been on an evolutionary rampage since the dawn of its inception – no surprises here. These technological changes have been absolutely remarkable, especially in the last seven or eight years. Think about it, television sets pretty much went from being massive, immovable units to sleek, think picture frames. But the most astounding change is their capacity to function with other technologies. Want to connect to the internet, no problem. Want to rent a movie, just pull up Netflix. YouTube videos, you got it. Bottom line, the television will continue to play a pivotal role in our daily living.

The Telephone

When you think your telephone today, I’m willing to bet that the image cascading through your thoughts is NOT a phone connected to a wall at your home. In fact, you might not even own a landline. The telephone has changes more rapidly than most every piece of technology we use. Today, phones serve as cameras, computers, instant messaging devices and video game systems. So much so that they’ve revolutionized the way we communicate. Besides, who likes listening to voicemails? Please just send a text. Also, your phone can now communicate with your television.

The Tankless Water Heater

The tankless water heater is a piece of equipment of which you may have never heard. Though commonly referred to as on-demand water heaters, these appliances can help you save space, money and maintenance costs throughout the year. Although they typically cost more upfront than standard gas water heaters or electric water heaters, tankless water heaters are much smaller and do not expend energy when they are not in use. Hence, their wonderful ability to save you money. These water heaters are small enough to hang up in closets and provide virtually unlimited supply of hot water. No more cold showers!

These are just a few pieces of equipment that have revolutionized the way we live our lives. It’s cool to contemplate the future of tomorrow, let alone the next twenty years. How will we be living our lives then? What will become obsolete? What will dictate our everyday existence?