File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Technology is constantly advancing as it's pushed by consumer demands, efficiency and advancements in science. 

Over the last decade technology innovation has replaced many household items at a rapid rate, rendering these items obsolete. 

We've taken a look at 10 things that may become obsolete by the year 2020, according to the Insider. 

1. Hard drives

After six decades of existence, the use of hard drives is finally coming to an end. The hard drive was first invented in 1956 and since then, the manner in which people save information has changed. American multinational technology, International Business Machines (IBM), shipped the first hard drive in the the first commercial computer (RAMAC 305 system).

READ: PICS: 5 smart gadgets to integrate into your home

With the onset of Cloud storage,  more and more information is now electronically stored. This is because data can easily be saved within a virtual space. Storage on the cloud is also considerably more than the initial 5MB the first hard drive allowed. Amazon’s cloud, for example, allows unlimited storage for a certain monthly fee. 

2. Paper Maps

Traditional paper maps are becoming phased out at an alarming rate. The first map of the world dates back to the 6th century BC by Greek philosopher, Anaximander.  More people now have access to maps of any country, electronically. With the emergence of online maps like Google Maps and apps like Sygic, MapFactor and MapQuest - paper maps are hardly necessary.  

3. Fax machines

The fax machine was invented back in 1843 by Scottish inventor, Alexander Bain. However in the present age, almost everything is digitised. To transfer a document, a lot of us are able to simply scan and email our documents. Once paperwork is completely out-phased, fax machines will no longer have any use. 

READ ALSO: WATCH: Household gadgets that will make things easier

4. CDs

Statistically, fewer people today buy CDs compared to previous years. Since the inception of streaming services, music is now accessible to people at their fingertips. According to the Internet Access in South Africa 2017 study by World Wide Worx, South Africa’s online users were projected to reach 22.5 million by the end of 2017. 

5. Calculators

The invention of the calculator by French mathematician, Blaise Pascal in 1624 has assisted scholars with calculations for centuries. Because of this, more and more digital devices are now equipped with built in calculator. This built in feature has significantly decreased the relevance of traditional calculators. 

6. Alarm clocks 

Alarm clocks first came about in 1787 and are believed to have been invented by American, Levi Hutchins. Since then, alarm clocks have changed in size and design. These days, alarm clocks come in digital form, having been built into most cellular devices. The sheer convenience of an alarm on one's cell phone has decreased the necessity of the traditional alarm clock. 

7. Analog watches

Smart watches have taken the world by storm and may soon overtake analog watches completely. This is largely due to smart watches having added features which allow one to take pictures, make phone calls and transfer files to other devices. As a result, analog watches are increasingly being overtaken by smart watches.

TOP STORY: Economists warn of possible downgrade pending NEC results

8. Landlines

According to a study by a US statistics agency, more than 70% of all adults aged 25-34 are living in wireless only households. As the trend looks set to continue, traditional home telephones are well on thier way out. 

9. Pay phones

American multinational conglomerate, AT&T announced in 2007 that it would be leaving the pay phone market. More and more people have cellphones to stay connected nowadays.

10. Check books 

With innovations like online banking and Apple Pay, writing checks will also soon become obsolete. The future of financial transactions is set to be dominated by digital tools.