Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Predictions from 1961: looking to 2000

Will Life Be Worth Living In 2,000AD?

A quite funny list of predictions. The ads on the left, however, suggest it was probably not the most serious of exercises. More like the National Enquirer predicting life in 2040. Intriguingly, many of the IT predictions weren't that far off. Extrapolation around cars and robots however went very wrong.
...Doors will open automatically, and clothing will be put away by remote control. The heating and cooling systems will be built into the furniture and rugs.

You'll have a home control room - an electronics centre, where messages will be recorded when you're away from home. This will play back when you return, and also give you up-to-the minute world news, and transcribe your latest mail.

You'll have wall-to-wall global TV, an indoor swimming pool, TV-telephones and room-to-room TV. Press a button and you can change the d├ęcor of a room.

The status symbol of the year 2000 will be the home computer help, which will help mother tend the children, cook the meals and issue reminders of appointments.

Cooking will be in solar ovens with microwave controls. Garbage will be refrigerated, and pressed into fertiliser pellets.

Food won't be very different from 1961, but there will be a few new dishes - instant bread, sugar made from sawdust, foodless foods (minus nutritional properties), juice powders and synthetic tea and cocoa. Energy will come in tablet form.

At work, Dad will operate on a 24 hour week. The office will be air-conditioned with stimulating scents and extra oxygen - to give a physical and psychological lift.

Mail and newspapers will be reproduced instantly anywhere in the world by facsimile.

There will be machines doing the work of clerks, shorthand writers and translators. Machines will "talk" to each other.

It will be the age of press-button transportation. Rocket belts will increase a man's stride to 30 feet, and bus-type helicopters will travel along crowded air skyways. There will be moving plastic-covered pavements, individual hoppicopters, and 200 m.p.h. monorail trains operating in all large cities.

The family car will be soundless, vibrationless and self-propelled thermostatically. The engine will be smaller than a typewriter. Cars will travel overland on an 18 inch air cushion.

Railways will have one central dispatcher, who will control a whole nation's traffic. Jet trains will be guided by electronic brains...

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