In 1976, AT&T and MIT held a conference that brought together of number scientists, theorists and academics to explore the future of technology. There, Bell System news magazine had the chance to catch up with Arthur C. Clarke to discuss the next generation of computing, communication and more. What you will notice is that the 2001: A Space Odyssey author was pretty darn accurate… decades before.
Courtesy of the AT&T Tech Channel, the vintage 1:1 session with Clarke reveals several of his predictions coming to fruition including mobile devices, home computers, the Internet, Skype, email, the death of newspapers, telecommuting, and of course, “Dick Tracy wrist-radios.”
We’re going to get devices which will enable us to send much more information to our friends. They’re going to be able to see us, we’re going to see them, we’re going to exchange pictorial information, graphical information, data, books, and so forth.
[The ideal communication device] would be a high-definition TV screen with a typewriter keyboard, and through this, you can exchange any type of information. Send messages to your friends … they can wait, and when they get up, they can see what messages have come in the night.
You can call in through this any information you might want: airline flights, the price of things at the supermarket, books you’ve always wanted to read, news you’ve selectively [chosen]. The machine will hunt and bring all this to you, selectively.
While other researchers and Hollywood films predicted ubiquitous flying cars, hoverboards and robots, Clarke was more interested in where communication was headed. Watch the interview below.