American author and biochemistry professor, Isaac Asminov (1920-1992), made some predictions 50 years ago about what would occur in 2014. These predictions appeared in The New York Times in an article entitled Visit to the World’s Fair of 2014.
Asminov predicted that the many bright panels that we see today used in signs, lighting, retail displays and flat screen televisions would be everywhere.
“By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use,” he wrote.
He also predicted, “Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs” and
“Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you phone.”
Just about everyone with a cell phone today makes use of the built in speaker phone and photos are easily sent to others. Add to that Skype, FaceTime, Google and Hangout with their video chats.
He also predicted that people would be able to “study documents,” see photographs and read books on a screen – all of which are now possible.
Unlike some who made predictions in the past, Asminov did not believe that robots would be a common part of our world in 2014.
“Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence.”
Other predictions that did not quite hit the mark included:
“Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare ‘automeals,’ heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on." (Only coffee can be prepared automatically at this point.)
“Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button.” (Likely someone out there is doing this since the technology is possible.)
“The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long-lived batteries running on radioisotopes.” (Well, we do have rechargeable batteries. Does that count?)
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) was a biochemistry professor at Boston University. During his lifetime, he wrote over 500 books on both fiction and non-fiction scientific topics. He was also a Menza member due to his high IQ. Several things have been named after him include asteroid 5020, a crater on Mars, a Brooklyn, N.Y. school and a literary award – the Isaac Asminov Award for undergraduate excellence in science fiction and fantasy short story writing.