People in 1967 were fascinated with new technology. During this era, technology advanced so quickly in such a short amount of time that people looked in wonderment at the future and made wild predictions at what the 2000s would look like. How accurate were the predictions of the 1960’s scientific community? Let’s check in with Walter Cronkite to find out!
The clip we dug up is from CBS’s The 21st Century and featured news anchorman Walter Cronkite (aka “the most trusted man in America”) giving viewers a tour of what was thought to be an accurate depiction of a home in 2001. The tour included such rooms like the living room and kitchen, but it’s the vision of the home office that caught our eye in particular. See for yourself:
Hmm, apparently gender equality in the workplace wasn’t something that scientists and their fancy gadgets could see coming.
Carry on Normal Business Activities without Ever Going to an Office.
Even in the 1960s people dreamed of working from home. Interestingly enough, it was mentioned earlier on the same episode of The 21st Century that the goal of these technological advancements was to make life easier for people. In fact, Cronkite was so bold as to predict that, due to new technology dramatically improving workplace efficiency, the work week of the future would be reduced to 30 hours! This extra time will give people the ability to more fully enjoy their gadget-filled homes.
While Cronkite was spot on with his prediction that the average worker could accomplish all of their work from the comforts of their home, he severely underestimated the edicts of capitalism which rewards increased productivity with more revenue for the company, not more personal time for the worker.
This Console Provides a Summary of News Relayed By Satellite from All Over the World.
1967, you got this prediction spot on! The concept that Cronkite is referring to is this new-fangled invention that we call the Internet. Part of the same home office envisioned here is a separate console for weather and stock reports. Actually, in today’s home office all of the bulky consoles featured here can fit on one pocket-sized console known as a smartphone. This is something that even the people of 2001 may not have seen coming!
How about that Print Dial!
In 1967 it was virtually impossible to think about consuming news outside of a print newspaper. Therefore, your home office computing console would surely come fully equipped to print off a full-sized, “newspaper copy for permanent reference.” Right on Walter, because keeping a paper copy of every interesting news article screams efficiency – not. Nowadays, the technology exists for most companies are trying to go paperless.
Now, if I Want to See the People I am Talking with, I Just Turn the Button, and there They Are.
People in the 1960s were pretty sure that video technology like closed circuit television systems and video chat were going to be commonplace in the future. This idea was popularized by the science fiction show Star Trek, which was a space series about our utopian future. Coincidentally, Star Trek premiered in 1967.
Today, video conferencing technology is widely available and it too is a feature on modern smartphones. However, despite its availability, this technology hasn’t caught on to the degree that the 1960s predicted. This may be because video chatting requires giving the person on the other line your full attention, and modern people prefer to multitask while using the phone. This is another Cronkite oversight, thinking that the future will give us time to slow down and have face-to-face conversations; the reality of the 21st Century is that we barely have time for a 140-character Tweet. #TrueStory #Sad
We May Not Have to Go to Work. The Work Will Come to Us!
That’s right Walter, working remotely from one’s home is a dream that many of us future folk still have today. PACE Technical Services can equip your business with mobile solutions that will allow your employees to work from home while staying connected to the office. Using technology like VoIP and cloud computing, you can keep your home-based employees accountable and have them collaborate on projects in real time!
This prediction of the future from 1967 got a lot right. What about you? What do you think the home office in 2067 will look like? Tell us your predictions in the comments!