In recent years, we have seen a new generation of smartphones being released every six to eight months; with each generation, we get double the processing power, as well as a long list of other improvements. The smartphone industry is a good measuring stick of just how fast technology evolves these days.
Despite the rapid advancements in technology, there are technologies invented decades ago that are still in use today. These technologies are not only in use but play important roles in their respective fields. We are going to take a look at three examples of old technologies that are still in use today in this article.
Most of you remember the glory days of pagers and how important pagers were for some people, particularly professionals. Before mobile phones existed, a pager was used as a way to reach important individuals in case of an emergency.
The way a pager works is rather simple. To send a message to a particular pager, you need to contact the correct network operator (for the paging service) and know the pager number of the recipient. You can then dictate your message to the operator, who will then send the message for you.
Pagers – in the original form – are actually still in use today. There have been several improvements to the system, including the introduction of a two way pager, but the basic principles behind today’s pagers remain the same. Even some of the devices from the golden era of paging are still in use.
Dot-matrix printers were the next big thing after electronic typewriters. Both devices use the same ribbon technology, but dot-matrix printers incorporate pins to print letters, numbers, and signs. The use of pins (dots) is the reason why the technology is called dot-matrix in the first place.
We saw the immense popularity of inkjet and laser printers. The average customer now uses one or the other, but dot-matrix printers have remained on the market for several reasons. The printing technology enables companies and businesses to print multiple copies on carbon copy paper. The nature of dot-matrix printing technology also lends itself to the creation of smaller printers for point-of-sale use.
Today, the use of dot-matrix printers is once again threatened by the introduction of thermal printers. However, the fact that manufacturers like Epson still produce their dot-matrix printers is a good sign that the technology is here to stay.
The last item on our list is one that we all know and love: the magnetic stripe. Magnetic stripes are used in debit cards, credit cards, and even membership cards. Its use is now being replaced by chips and RFID for better security, but most cards will continue to keep their magnetic stripes simply because it is a proven technology.
Just like the two other technologies covered in this article, magnetic stripe has been in use for almost a century. It is proof of how old technologies can still be very reliable and will continue to find their places in today’s modern world.