[1963] You’ll be able to carry your phone in your pocket in…


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  1. I remember thinking I was clever when I rigged my house phone with a headband to stay on my head.

    My first phone was a rotary dial, though.

  2. I love how localized the writing in newspapers used to be. Like, “this is what *Mansfielders* will be doing in the future—the rest of you are gonna have to figure it out yourself”

  3. Just makes you think about what is being worked on right now that is far into the future. — And does anyone see the resemblance that phone has to the Motorola Razr?

  4. I remember watching Beyond 2000 in the early 90’s and they had this contraption that transmitted video on your phone, you could speak to anyone in the world at real time and they could see you while you saw them!! My sister lived in Hong Kong at the time and we thought how cool would it be to be able to see her while talking to her!

  5. Expectation: You will be able to carry a phone in your pocket

    Reality: You will be required to carry a phone in your pocket

  6. You had better learn your arithmetic you can’t walk around with a calculator in your pocket your whole life.

  7. Remember when school teachers made you learn arithmetic because “you’ll not always have a calculator in your pocket” 🤣

  8. They didn’t predict a guy that looks like Data from Star Trek next generation is going to run a social media company and data mine everyone’s personal info.

  9. “if the housewife is busy preparing a meal…” so that’s why they put a phone jack in the kitchen?! 💁‍♀️

  10. As a technologist who works in Big Tech, I am constantly trying to predict the future of tech in both the near and long term by extrapolating on existing technologies.

    Mad props to this company for making spot on predictions. It isn’t luck that the phone looks just like the first flip phones. Someone had to think long and hard about the form factor, how it would be laid out, the size and shape. I can’t tell, but there might even be push buttons as well.

    It’s easy to predict in hand-wavey sorts of ways what the future might bring, but it’s another thing all together to actually prototype it. They probably went through a bunch of iterations until they figured out what is in retrospect an obvious size and shape, etc. Even if a prediction is 30 years too early, figuring out what the ultimate destination will be provides a map you can use to take the first steps. A good map will let you navigate to a mountain you know is out there somewhere but can’t see yet. It lets you know which direction to head in.

    Of course, when you arrive at the top, everyone around you says, “How could you miss this mountain? It’s huge! Anyone can see it! So obvious.” Right. Not when we were back in Kansas walking through the flat prairie lands it wasn’t. Back then you said mountains were crazy talk. Then when you started to see the peaks way off in the distance, you said it was too far away to think about, or said you don’t think they’re worth the effort and maybe we should head South, as there were probably better mountains there. Then you doubted that anyone could possibly overcome the obstacles in the way of reaching the peak, and doubted anyone would ever reach the top. When we finally hit the summit, which let us see peaks even farther away, everyone says, well, this is nice, but where’s our flying cars?

    So yeah, nice call.

  11. I’ve seen it said that phone/tech inventors were inspired by the Star Trek communicator, but it seems to be the reverse.

  12. They were so close with their predictions, but what we actually got was “a *train* loud speaking telephone”.

  13. Where is our conversation cassette recorder for our TV phones Ladies and pimps once again we have been let down by big telephone

  14. Yeah right and I suppose it’s computer will be more powerful than the one in the Apollo spacecraft.

  15. I wonder if Mrs Jean Conrad ever got to see the widespread adoption of the mobile telephone.
    Would she have been around to witness camera phones?

  16. … and then a few short years later, the explosion of social media, the beginning of the end. Hate speech from a Racist’s fingertips to 100,000 eyeballs in 5.2 seconds, Cyber bullying spreading like a pandemic, Memes being voted into presidency, Grown Adults believing the Earth is flat, the decline of mankind.

    sent from iphone

  17. Since the first cell call made almost ten years exactly to the date of this article, it wasn’t that far.

    But, the guy was right. Commercially, from that date you’d have to say the early-mid 90s.

  18. It’s amazing really and they thought all the individual functions of my current phone would be a separate piece of tech, instead of an all in one device. Not bad for the 60s.