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1989 predictions of what houses would look like by the year 2020 are strangely accurate

One of the predictions talked about how walls within homes would be digitally powered.

1989 predictions of what houses would look like by the year 2020 are strangely accurate
Cover Image Source: YouTube I @BBC Archives

In 1989, TV presenters Judith Hann and Howard Stableford stood on the set of "Tomorrow's World," a British television series, predicting advancements in home technology over the next 30 years. With the help of futurist Christine MacNulty and glass technology specialist David Button, the hosts introduced a mock-up house that closely resembles today's homes. The episode originally aired on the BBC on December 12 and was uploaded by the channel on YouTube in 2022.Representative Image Source: Pexels I Photo by Pixabay

Representative Image Source: Pexels I Photo by Pixabay

The video starts with the camera zooming in on Judith Hann as she asks the audience, "What are going to be the biggest changes in our homes by 2020? Will the house of the future protect the environment?" She then informs the audience that they had been talking to people who had been thinking about the "houses of the future."

As the camera turned left, the screen transitioned to MacNulty, who addressed the viewers, "People will want all the benefits of modern technology but without all the cluttered and complex gadgetry that we have today." The tech expert even assured viewers, saying, "We'll have things under control without knobs and buttons." She further indicated how technology would take over our homes, "The technology itself will be embedded in the fabric and its furnishings."

In the next segment of the clip, we see Stableford addressing home automation and how a lot of basic activities will become effortless. He demonstrated how lights would turn on by motion. Fast forward to 2024, and this prediction has come true as companies like Philips and IKEA have introduced motion sensors that enable lights to automatically turn on and off when there is movement nearby.

Representative Image Source: Pexels I Photo by Burak The Weekender
Representative Image Source: Pexels I Photo by Burak The Weekender

Another accurate prediction in the video was the introduction of voice assistant-based services, as the presenter said, "A simple command gives you music, perhaps piped in from a sound library." Sounds similar to Alexa and Google Assistant, right?

Image Source: A closeup of a Google Home smart device in a retail store on May 29, 2019 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Image Source: A closeup of a Google Home smart device in a retail store on May 29, 2019, in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

As the video progressed, Button took over the show and predicted that walls within the home would all be digitally powered. The presenter talked about smart glass and demonstrated how it could transition from opaque to transparent window pane, giving us the choice to let as much light into our house as we want. This forecast, too, saw the light of the day with the concept of "Switchable Glass" - a technology that allows us to switch a transparent glass to translucent with the click of an electric switch or a remote control. 

In the latter half of the clip, the focus shifted back to MacNulty, who talked about energy management. She said, "In 2020, there will be enormous pressure on us to cut down on the burning of our fossil fuels. This means energy management in our homes will be of critical importance." The end segment focused on the relevance of smart heating in our homes and how technology would intelligently learn the heating patterns of our houses. The presenter said, "The key is to use the energy intelligently. The heating system could learn your routine and heat the rooms you would be using - the living room example would be at the perfect temperature when you step in."

The BBC clip has received over 2 million views and generated over 27,000 likes so far. YouTube users have shared their opinion on the forecasts and the response has been positive so far. One user, @ShadowMan66, commented, "I preferred the world and the house in 1989. Those were fantastic times!" Another user, @GHOOGLEMALE commented, "Pretty accurate eh - This is why we need Tomorrows World back, to inspire and raise our expectations - and those of our kids."

Image Source: Youtube I @halfbee7886
Image Source: Youtube I @halfbee7886
Image Source: Youtube I @ilan.woodward
Image Source: Youtube I @ilan.woodward

 



 

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