Predictions are marred by obscure exaggerations that almost never come true when it’s time to live up to the hype. Crazy moon colonies, faster than light travel, and robot servants are the most typical tech predictions made by so many optimists – both scientists and amateurs alike. But for all the exaggerations, there is always some truth to them.
The 1980s, in particular, were the heydays of technological marvels such as portable cassette players and video games, giving visionaries a clearer vision of what was to come. Here is our list of top 5 technological predictions that came true today.
Touch Sensitive Display
In the 80s, the mouse was still a quirky device that was hard to control but had a simple underlying premise. You controlled the onscreen GUI with a pointer by displacing the mouse or joystick just a little for precise input control. After that, you could hit a button to open up a plethora of options; this gave engineers an idea – what if they could control the GUI with fingers on a high-resolution input?
One underlying benefit of this touch-sensitive screen technology is the minimization of computer peripherals. You just bring the screen along with you and type and click on the go. Sensitive touchscreens are the main feature of today’s smartphones, gaming systems, and even cars.
High Definition Monitors
This was fairly obvious from the get-go. People wanted to see their favorite characters on bigger and clearer screens for maximum visual fidelity. And as time progressed, the size of the television screen went from small and bulky to thin and tall. The 1980s had televisions with reasonably primitive technology that prominently showed off artifacts such as scan lines and blocky images.
The next big step from 9 inch TV screens was 60 inch 1080p display technologies – in other words, the stuff that dreams are made of.
Remotely talking to someone over long distances and still being able to see their faces and hear their voices was the most obvious tech of the future. While the exact details behind video conferencing are vastly different than what was first predicted (such as projected figures and holograms), video calling is something people regularly do these days without thinking too much about it.
Video Game Physics
Gaming in the 1980s was reasonably simple— ping-pong was all the rage. Then came the platform game Mario Bros. That changed how gamers interacted with virtual worlds. Game developers began to make video game engines that could stimulate the real world itself. Video games of today are jam-packed with lots of onscreen objects that gamers can interact with in many different ways.
This is a big step from the ping-pong game, which required you to wiggle a sturdy joystick to move a small box of pixels.
This prediction was first notably made by the movie Back to the Future. The 3D printer allowed a person to create a pizza from the air. While today’s 3D printing tech isn’t as advanced to solve the world’s food crisis, we can work with advanced materials to manufacture low cost and affordable devices.