Is it nice..?

How they predicted the future 31 years ago

Posted in Is it Nice..? by Ade Chong on March 10, 2010

I came across Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century (published June 1979) while doing some research. It’s pretty interesting to read about how people imagined the 21st century to be like in the 70s, and how those predictions came out.

The Electronic Household

This living room has many electronic gadgets which are either in use already or are being developed for people to buy in the 1980s.

1. Giant-size TV

Based on the designs already available, this one has a super-bright screen for daylight viewing and stereo sound system.

2. Electronic video movie camera

Requires no film, just a spool of tape. Within ten years video cameras like this could be replaced by 3-D holographic recorders.

3. Flat screen TV (computers)

No longer a bulky box, TV has shrunk to a thickness of less than five centimetres. This one is used to order shopping via a computerised shopping centre a few kilometres away. The system takes orders and indicates if any items are in stock.

4. Video disc player

Used for recording off the TV and for replaying favourite films.

5. Domestic robot rolls in with drinks.

One robot, the Quasar, is already on sale in the USA. Reports indicate that it may be little more than a toy, however, so it will be a few years before “Star Wars” robots tramp through our homes.

6. Mail slot

By 1990, most mail will be sent in electronic form. Posting a letter will consist of placing it in front of a copier at your home or post office. The electronic read-out will be flashed up to a satellite, to be beamed to its destination. Like many other electronic ideas, the savings in time and energy could be enormous.

Pretty accurate aside from the domestic robots. That being said, where the fuck is my jet pack and flying car?



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