Survival of the Fittest: Which Tech Gadgets Have Adapted to the Digital Era?

I’m a dinosaur, hear me roar!  Nah, I’m just kidding.  But I guess that’s what they would say if they could speak and if they were still in existence today.  But they, like many of our technological gadgets, have become extinct over the years.  This world is a harsh place when it comes to keeping an evolutionary advantage, and recent developments in the tech sector have made dinosaurs of once beloved products.

The mobile era in particular has made it difficult for some products and companies to keep up, but others have made quite an opportunity of the mobility sector.  And with CES kicking off this week, presenting a slew of new gadgets and products, we’re taking a moment to see which technologies have managed to adapt to today’s world.

Polaroid

Before the age of digital cameras, the only way for you to immediately see a photo after snapping it was to use a Polaroid camera, shaking the sheet until the image fully develops.  But now, with smartphones sporting HD cameras and connected digital cameras allowing users to post directly to social sites, it seems physical photography is long gone.  But some photos are just meant to be printed, that’s why Polaroid announced that by February of this year, they’ll be opening a Fotobar in Delray Beach, Florida.

The Fotobar is where people can print photos from their smartphones and social sites, on different types of materials such as metal, canvass and even wood.  Fotobars will have stations where people can edit their photos to adjust brightness, remove red eye, apply frames and even filters.

Polaroid’s also has joined the digital era with the release of a digital still camera line up – some waterproof and some still have Polaroid’s trademark instant printing capability, like the Polaroid 10-Megapixel Instant Print Digital Camera Z2300W with ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology.  The camera allows you to preview photos before instantly printing.

And the tablet market has also proven lucrative for Polaroid, with the release a 7-inch kids’ tablet running Android 4.0.  The Polaroid Kids Tablet is priced at $149 and comes preloaded with three top rated learning Apps and 10 interactive books, Nook bookstore and reader, and a custom web browser and parental controls allow you to program a safe environment for children.  It also features 1GHz processor, 8GB of memory, 512MB of RAM, USB port, WiFi, SD card slot for extended memory, digital accelerometer, built-in speaker, headphone jack, microphone and rechargeable battery included.  It is the perfect tablet for kids because of its integrated side and rear rubber bumpers that protect the tablet from shocks, falls and withstand all sorts of liquid accidents.

Turntables

If you think vinyl records are a thing of the past, think again.  Turntables these days are nothing like the tech dinosaurs you’ll find in the basement.  New models have been enhanced with digital capabilities, looking like something from a sci-fi flick.  Some are bulky with a lot of arms poking out, and some even have liquid-nitrogen-rectified belts, and touch controls integrated directly in the tabletop.

But if you want something as stunning as Goldmund’s Reference II, you’ll have to cough up a whopping $300,000 to take this baby home.  Of course, there are other modernized turntables at a lower price tag but hey, if you’ve got the cash and no where to put and you’re an extreme audiophile, this might just be the best way to enjoy your tunes.

Typewriters

Though some may think that buying old, heavy typewriters is just a hipster fad, Tom Furrier of Cambridge Typewriter says, “hell no!”   And he’s not talking about people buying digital typewriters, he’s referring to the typewriters that go “clickyty-clack,” and dings when you get to the end of the line.  So how has this dinosaur survived the digital age?  According to Furrier, though we’re in the digital era, some people are happy to have their typewriters with them to give them a break from the digitalized world.  He also added that during the last holiday season, they have been swamped, more than ever, in refurbishing old typewriters to be given as presents, and repairs just keeps piling up.  Checkout Furrier’s blog regarding his Life in a Typewriter Shop.

But there’s a type of a typewriter that has been digitalized to help sighted and visually impaired people to communicate and learn better.  The Perkins SMART Brailler features a video screen that displays SimBraille and large print, combined with audio feedback, for an instantaneous, multi-sensory learning experience.  

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com