They told us so. An amazing film of the future.

If you can’t view the video above, please click here.

This 57-year-old film, recently unearthed by GE, might be the most interesting five minutes you spend all day. It predicts our current technology with uncanny prescience.  Among the innovations correctly predicted in this film are:

  • DVR
  • refrigerator ice-maker
  • baby monitor
  • Skype
  • iPad
  • flat-screen, 3D television
  • the personal computer
  • missile defense system
  • and the cell phone.

This charming bit of history was just discovered in the GE archives. It was originally produced to coincide with GE’s “Diamond Jubilee,” or the 75th anniversary of the development of Edison’s lamp in 1879.

It’s hard to get my head around how accurate these predictions were. If we made a film today about 2068, how much do you think we would have correct?

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  • This is just awesome. As you say it is amazing how accurate the predictions were. 

  • What a “great find” Mark!  Thanks for sharing with “this community of great inquiring minds” who are eagerly looking for the next “great find!”  Happy holidays everyone!

  • Haha. “This one may be a mixed blessing…” Indeed.

  • Great find! They got it more right than the Jetsons, which sort of predicted the cell phone  (though we were all supposed to be using video phones) but jet packs still haven’t come into use. 

  • Thanks for this great piece of history Mark

    Kind regards from Germany and meryy christmas to you and your family

    Hansjörg

  • My favorite line is “suppose you out at a symphony concert or a spelling bee …”

  • Heh. I chuckled at that one too. 🙂 I love these types of videos. Quaint and nostalgic.

  • Also, did you catch the line about the Pirates playing the Orioles in the World Series?  Of course they actually DID in 1971!!  That is just too spooky.

  • That’s too funny! What’s crazy is that we’re innovating at a much faster rate today. A fast-forward to 2068 would be even more mind-boggling. 

  • What a great find!  What’s most interesting about this kind of thing is that it should help businesses really understand the importance of future planning/thinking based on what’s happening now not just reacting to what’s happening now.  You can pretty much bet that at the time, somewhere deep in the bowels of GE’s research departments, people were actually trying to build that stuff……………in expectation of the future opportunities. That’s what makes great companies great over the long term.

  • Hahah! Nostradamus!

  • Really good point Garrett. And to think, for most of human history the idea of technological change was not even on the radar. Horses. That was about it. : ) 

  • GE has always been one of my favorite companies for that very reason.

  • This is just awesome. Thanks for posting it; it was perfect for pinning to my Future Thinking board on Pinterest (and already it’s getting repinned). I agree with Steve – companies need to pay attention to ideas in the works at companies like GE. We need to develop business strategies for what’s coming, not just what’s currently happening. Makes me think of that saying from Wayne Gretzky: Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.

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  • Awesome stuff 🙂

    Assuming the video is authentic -and I have my doubts- that is quite a find. But dig this…

    In Drunkard’s Walk, Leonard Mlodinow talks about the 17th century philosopher (I think it was
    René Descartes) who predicted the emergence of computers.

    René talked about a kind of “universal device” that you could use to communicate with other devices, listen to speeches, view moving pictures, and the list goes on.

    Apparently, René Descartes even tried building one, which was a colossal failure, but then some other dude built something useful few decades later that was basically a steam-powered calculator.

    Amazing…I know…such visionaries.

  • Thanks man. It’s legit. It was first posted by GE on their blog.

  • Great comment Diane! Thanks!

  • Love these type of videos because it have some logic 

  • i found it funny/sad that people used to  leave home with their windows wide open.

  • Shocking!

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