Yeah, But He Didn’t Predict The iPhone, Did He?


“A typical vacation in 2008 is to spend a week at an undersea resort,” wrote James R. Berry in 1968. His article, 40 Years In The Future, had a few things almost right, and a ton of things that probably won’t be reality even a hundred years from now.
Berry guessed right on flat panel displays and computers that do a lot of work for you. But he also thought we’d have robots to do our housework, cars that go 250 mph in heavy traffic, and domed, climate controlled cities.
Sadly, he also guessed that medical care was universal and competent, his biggest mistake: “Medical research has guaranteed that most babies born in the 21st century will live long and healthy lives. Heart disease has virtually been eliminated by drugs and diet. If hearts or other major organs do give trouble, they can be replaced with artificial organs.”
He almost touched on the Internet, too, when he said “The single most important item in 2008 households is the computer,” and “TV-telephone shopping is common.” And he came eerily close here:
Suddenly your TV phone buzzes. A business associate wants a sketch of a new kind of impeller your firm is putting out for sports boats. You reach for your attache case and draw the diagram with a pencil-thin infrared flashlight on what looks like a TV screen lining the back of the case. The diagram is relayed to a similar screen in your associate’s office, 200 mi. away. He jabs a button and a fixed copy of the sketch rolls out of the device. He wishes you good luck at the coming meeting and signs off.
Overall, not a bad job and, frankly, better than most of us could probably do at predicting the future 40 years from today

Enter your email address: