Illustration for article titled In 1976, Arthur C. Clarke Knew A Lot About Cell Phones And The Internet

Vintage interviews of Arthur C. Clarke predicting the future of computing continue to surface. Here's one from 1976, just released by the AT&T Tech Channel, which contains even more spot-on description of what communications will look like in the future. As in, today. As in, internet and smartphones and maybe even drunk texting and online shopping.


An excerpt:

We're going to get devices which will enable us to send much more information to our friends. They're going to be able to see us, we're going to see them, we're going to exchange pictorial information, graphical information, data, books, and so forth.

[The ideal communication device] would be a high-definition TV screen with a typewriter keyboard, and through this, you can exchange any type of information. Send messages to your friends ... they can wait, and when they get up, they can see what messages have come in the night.

You can call in through this any information you might want: airline flights, the price of things at the supermarket, books you've always wanted to read, news you've selectively [chosen]. The machine will hunt and bring all this to you, selectively.


He also predicts the death of newspapers, the rise of working remotely ("don't commute, communicate"), the ways in which computers will make our social lives feel like we're "living in one small town," talks "wrist-watch computers," and invents the pizza emoji (well, he certainly could have if he'd wanted to).

Via Laughing Squid.

Image via Sci Fi Bloggers.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter