The Consumerist has dug up some fantastic old videos of newsman Walter Cronkite’s old show The Twenty-First Century, in which he takes us on a tour of 1967’s home of the future. The connected home, where your living room becomes the mixing stage at a major movie studio, where your crockery is 3D printed on-demand, and your kitchen spits out packaged meals like a PEZ dispenser.
How close did Cronkite and his fellow prognosticators get? Well, have a looksee for yourself:
Obviously the gigantic media consoles on display have evolved into tablets and smartphones, but the concepts, and the giant 3D screens, certainly ring true. While LCD dimmed glass is relatively new, I think anyone who has experienced it will say “better late than never.” The globular speakers? They’re actually a thing.
The home office of Cronkite’s future has also come to pass, in spirit, at least, in the form of the device you’re using right now. Stocks, Weather, Video Phone, all check. Now if only they’d predicted Facebook and Twitter we could have stopped both of them before they were created, and helped fix the economy with all that extra productivity time wasted on reporting one’s lunch contents.
And speaking of lunch, the kitchen of the future — which, is hilariously off the mark — works like the food dispensers on Star Trek, knocking together various ingredients, microwaving it and spitting it out. My favorite bit is the plastic dishware that gets kicked out on demand, and then melted down for re-use, though I’m not sure how much the net savings in materials are once you factor in the whole process. Either way, home 3D printing is something that is just starting to edge into our field of vision, but I think the auto-chef is still a very long way off, at least as long as Stouffer’s is around.
Walter Cronkite was an amazing newsman, and even when doing puff pieces like this, it’s obvious he put a lot of thought into what he was presenting, which is why even 30 years earlier his score is way better than AT&T’s.
What features do you feel are still missing from your daily lives from ye olden future predictions (besides the obvious flying car)? Leave it in the comments below!
Watch the rest of the videos in the series at: [The Consumerist]