Friday, 13 January 2012

Wireless future

Click to enlarge
The BBC looks at prophecies of life in the year 2000 made in 1900.

They don't do a bad job except for this one:
3. Mobile phones

"Wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world. A husband in the middle of the Atlantic will be able to converse with his wife sitting in her boudoir in Chicago. We will be able to telephone to China quite as readily as we now talk from New York to Brooklyn."

International phone calls were unheard of in Watkins' day. It was another 15 years before the first call was made, by Alexander Bell, even from one coast of the US to the other. The idea of wireless telephony was truly revolutionary.
That's what you get when you let wet-nosed middies write Future Past articles.  "Wireless"  here doesn't mean portable telephones.  It means that telephone networks across oceans would be connected by radio i.e. "wireless".

As a side note, I've been such a bad influence on my daughter that she calls radio "the wireless"


Ironmistress said...

Not a bad prediction, since the satellite phones work just like that.

While the mobile phones are today a commonplace commodities, the satellite phone does have its niche, and it is the sailing community. We have one at our yacht. Likewise, deserts, forests and other remote places are niches for satellite phone, where the mobile network does not cover the terrain.

Neil A Russell said...

Bless your daughter's little heart, even I don't say "wireless" for the radio (I do still say "airlanes" though)
Hope she keeps the term "frigidaire" alive for decades to come too!
And "aeroplane", that really sets the wife off.

ISleepNow said...

This is the Future That We Wanted..

YouTube Video: What is Digital Culture?

What We Got Was the Future We Deserved