Though technology isn’t as far along as fiction often displays, many technologies have drastically advanced and look to advance even further in 2013.  Now, as new innovations and upgrades of existing tech continue to expand users’ capabilities, many technologies look set to fade into obscurity. In regards to communications technology, VoIP has greatly impacted the rate of advancement, as well as the devices/technologies that are commonly used. In doing so, users may start to see the tapering off of some technologies in 2013.

Traditional Landlines: While traditional phones will not disappear, they may slide into a recession as VoIP phone service increases in popularity. Both residential and business VoIP solutions offer extensive cost efficiency, quality, feature, and function over traditional landline service. Additionally, now there are a number of ways to utilize VoIP without new devices; therefore, users can choose their level of involvement with Voice over IP. In doing so, users can choose to retain their landline phones and instead supplement it with VoIP using analog telephone adapters (ATAs)—which transforms your voice into data and sends it over the Internet. As the number of connectivity options and VoIP providers increases, the service is primed to substantially increase its number of users in 2013. As a result, traditional landline service looks to take a backseat.

Paper Faxing: Much like traditional phone lines, traditional paper faxing faces a slippery slope in light of internet based paper-less faxing solutions. Unlike traditional faxing, which uses phone lines and fax machines, internet faxing works virtually over an internet connection. In doing so, the solution is able to greatly reduce (if not completely diminish) the amount of system errors, paper jams, and even busy signals. With this, internet faxing offers users a variety of options for sending and receiving faxes. For example, Nextiva’s vFax solution allows faxes to be sent and received via email, fax machine, Microsoft applications, and cell phone. With increased capability and options, users can choose the most convenient solution—which better fits their individual needs. Just as with VoIP service, Internet faxing provides users with am unparalleled level of flexibility and customization that tailors solutions to specific needs.

On-site PBX: With a number of providers offering various hosted, managed, and cloud-based solutions, the need for onsite hardware is greatly diminishing. Hosted and Managed solutions dictate that users employ providers that use their own equipment; therefore, providers are responsible for operating, updating, repairing/replacing, and maintaining hardware—which is OFF users’ premises. Additionally, cloud hosted solutions store users’ data and information electronically—over the Internet. In doing so, users again do not have to worry about hardware. Everything is stored remotely, and managed by the service provider; therefore, there is even less need for backup hardware.  Also, users have greater mobile access to all their stored information. Though some users (particularly SMBs) may not feel comfortable with this type of storage, providers ensure security, quality, and cost efficiency.  As hosted, managed, and cloud based solutions extend themselves,  users may feel more inclined to shed their hardware in lieu of a quality and more cost efficient alternative.

Dial Up Internet: Though this sounds like a relic of the past, Dial Up is still widely used. In fact, it’s used so much that the service still constitutes most of AOL’s company profits. While this may seem outlandish to some, for many it’s the only option available as Broadband service is still not available everywhere. Now, however, as telephony and communications technologies advance, the demand for faster internet is at an all time high. In response to this, providers and carriers are hard at work to meet the demands of users, and expand broadband service. As this occurs, dial up will undoubtedly recede to the shadows as an outdated technology.

While flying cars, hover boards, and teleportation devices may still be a ways off, many communications technologies are advancing rapidly. Though the process can sometimes take longer than expected (dial up for example), many new advances are weeding out older technologies.