Stanislaw Lem predicted ebook readers in his 1961 novel, Return from the Stars.
I spent the afternoon in a bookstore. There were no books in it. None had been printed for nearly half a century...
The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystals with recorded contents. They can be read the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it... Thus all my purchases fitted into one pocket, though there must have been almost three hundred titles. My handful of crystal corn - my books.
Also in 1961, William Burroughs predicted social media in his novel The Soft Machine:
"Posted everywhere on street corners the idiot irresponsibles twitter supersonic approval, repeating slogans, giggling, dancing...”
(Thanks, Jacques Vallée!)
And in 1926, French Symbolist poet Saint-Paul-Roux predicted streaming media:
[I]n possession of an evocation device ... these images will come at our call, the Chaplains and Pickfords of the day, and we will receive them anywhere, in the living-room or in the wood or on the terrace. Each one of us, solitary or not, will be able to receive the images at home, tonight we will have Cleopatra, Danton, or Madam Du Barry, and these shadows, alone or in numbers, will people our homes and vanish at a click... Animated images generated by electric current or by the sun...
Any other examples of authors foreseeing 21st century media technology?
Oculus Quest, the so-called ‘iPod of VR’, is now shipping.
Marginalized Native American communities throughout the United States could have better access to high-speed internet if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decides to allow tribes to use the Educational Broadband Services (EBS) spectrum for services like telemedicine, transmitting medical records electronically, or an online high school.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has denied an application by the Chinese telecommunications provider China Mobile to provide services in the U.S. over concerns about national security and risks to law enforcement.
Raspberry Pi is one of the world’s most versatile open-source computers. Alexa is a home automation hub with limitless potential. Together, they’re a dream team for ambitious makers, opening the door to everything from automatic lights to voice-controlled robots. Learning Raspberry Pi is meant to be relatively easy for newbies, but its applications with Alexa […]
Heads up: The clock is winding down on a free-entry contest to win not only one of the best smartphones on the market but a handy pair of earbuds. A simple sign-up is all you need to be eligible to win a 256 GB iPhone XS Max, along with AirPods. And while “free” is tough […]
Kudos to those of us who have chosen a less wasteful third option to “paper or plastic” at the supermarket or club stores. Tote bags are reusable, but they can be a pain to tote around. Here’s an upgrade to that planet-saving measure. The Club Cart Lotus Trolley Bag is that rare tote you’ll want […]