I just finished reading “In the Year 2889,” one of Jules Verne’s lesser-known works (actually co-written with his son, Michel). It’s short, but if you like old visions of the future, it’s great. Here is Verne’s prediction of a news podcast that could be listened to on first release or downloaded (though Verne doesn’t use that word) to a “phonograph” for later listening.
Instead of being printed, the Earth Chronicle is every morning spoken to subscribers, who, in interesting conversations with reporters, statesmen, and scientists, learn the news of the day. Furthermore, each subscriber owns a phonograph, and to this instrument he leaves the task of gathering the news whenever he happens not to be in a mood to listen directly himself. As for purchasers of single copies, they can at a very trifling cost learn all that is in the paper of the day at any of the innumerable phonographs set up nearly everywhere.
And here’s Verne on the videophone; or as he called it, the phonotelephote.
The first thing Mr. Smith does is activate his phonotelephote, the wires of which communicate with his Paris mansion. The telephote! Here is another great triumph of modern science. The transmission of speech is an old story; the transmission of images by means of sensitive mirrors connected by wires is a thing but of yesterday. A valuable invention indeed; Mr. Smith this morning is full of blessings for the inventor, when by its aid he is able distinctly to see his wife despite her great distance.
Okay, it’s your turn. What technologies will be commonplace 1,000 years from now?
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