I think the OP is right...as these IR's need to also be judged on what changes happen AROUND them as well. The big thing about railroads wasn't that "trains are neat", it was the westward expansion, decrease in travel time between great distances, etc..
Now that makind is used to being connected in whatever fashion they choose, real changes will start occuring with the digital age at the core. Large areas of "older" technologies are being wisked away pretty rapidly by new stuff...anyone care if they miss their shows on TV anymore? Nope, if I didn't save it on my DVR I can still go find it on Hulu/Netflix or somesuch any way. As cars get better at driving themselves and IBM's Watson continues to mature beyond stomping on the Jeopardy champion, things should get quite interesting!