Here are some amusing predictions made by some of the most prolific people around the world about the future of technology. After the obvious success of these advances in technology, these predictions are instantly regrettable today.
Nobody Wants To Hear A ‘Talkie’ Movie
In 1926, Sam Warner founder of Warner Brothers toyed with the idea of using synchronised speech in his movies, much to the dismissal of his brother Harry who was famously quoted as saying ‘Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?’
Harry soon ate his words as Sam stuck to his guns and used the Vitaphone sound system and went onto produce ‘The Jazz Singer’ in 1927, the very first ‘talkie’ film which completely revolutionised and shaped the film industry as we know it today.
Computers Have No Place In The Home
Ken Olsen, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp once stated that “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.”
Ironically, Digital Equipment Corporation was the second biggest computer corporation after
IBM. They designed the minicomputer, the first of its kind in the 1980s, which kick-started the PC we all know and love today.
Ken Olsen insists that his comments were taken ‘out of context’ and that he was referring to a supercomputer, one that can prepare meals, control lighting and regulate temperature. Former IBM chairman Thomas Watson is also rumoured to have said in 1943; ‘I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.’
We Will All Be Using Nuclear Powered Vacuum Machines
In 1965, Alex Lewyt, president of the Lewyt Corp vacuum company predicted to the New York Times that ‘Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years.’
The dangers of radiation would ensure that vacuums like this would never become a reality and few people would ever want to use anything nuclear powered in the home but Alex was right about one thing. Vacuum cleaners indeed have evolved and come on a long way since 1965.
Cars Are A Fad
The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advised the founder of Ford Motor Co. in 1903 not to invest in the business because he believed that ‘The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty. A fad.’
He’s not the only one. A report in 1909, which was printed in Scientific American, predicted that there was no future for automobile. The report read:
“That the automobile has practically reached its limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced.”
Spam Will Become A Thing Of The Past
Bill Gates of Microsoft announced in 2004; ‘Two years from now; spam will be solved.’
Even with the most sophisticated software and email accounts, spam is still very much a big issue.
Statistics show that spam accounts for over 90% of internet email today and 51% of all internet traffic doesn’t come from humans, but from search engines, bots, address servers and applications etc.
And today, one prediction that may or may not materialise is the Virgin Galactic, run by entrepreneur Richard Branson.
Virgin Galactic is a company that aim to be able to offer suborbital flights into space to members of the general public by 2015. It was predicted to be able to offer flights to paying customers by 2007, but delays in development and a fatal space explosion have only further delayed the flights.