Brad's Blurb

It seems like every day you hear so-called “experts” touting predictions for future technology.  I thought it would be interesting to look back on a few past predictions to see who was on target and who missed the mark.  As the old saying goes, “Predicting the future is easy…getting it right is the hard part.” 

Here are a few predictions that did not quite turn out as expected:

1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” Horace Rackham-Henry Ford’s lawyer. 

1913: "books will be soon be obsolete." Thomas Edison

1946: “Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months.  People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” Darryl Zanuck-20th Century Fox.

1955: “Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years.”  Alex Lewyt-President of the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company.

1961: "There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States."  T.A.M. Craven-Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner.

1966: "Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” Time Magazine.

1995:  "I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse." Robert Metcalfe-founder of 3Com.

2005: “Next Christmas, the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput” Alan Sugar-Apprentice Star

2007:  “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” Steve Ballmer- Microsoft CEO.


Here are some predictions that were fairly accurate:

1900:  “Trains will run two miles a minute normally.  Express trains one hundred and fifty miles per hour.” John Watkins-Civil Engineer

1909: “It will soon be possible to transmit wireless messages all over the world so simply that any individual can own and operate their own apparatus.” Nikola Tesla

1953: Portable headphones will be like “little seashells…thimble radios” in the ear.   Ray Bradbury-Author of Fahrenheit 451

1987: “We will have high definition, wide screen television sets and push button dialing system to order the movie you want at the time you want it.” Roger Ebert-Movie Critic


And finally, some recent predictions made through the year 2050.  Which ones will turn out to be true? 

-Computer passwords will be obsolete as we move to face recognition, voice prints, and retinal scans

-Contact lens will grant us Terminator vision

- Cable television will no longer exist

-All 130 million books on the planet will be digitized

-Supersonic public jet transport will return

-Medical checkups will be conducted by cellphones

-Supercomputers will be the size of sugar cubes

-Vertical farms will feed cities

-We will find life beyond Earth

-Space tourism/vacations

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