Forecasting the Electronic Household


This page (found at Cynical-C) is from the 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century. It described "the electronic household." Click the picture to see it full-size. It said in the 21st century, we would enjoy huge flat-screen TVs, discs for recording and playing back TV shows, videocameras (with rerecordable tape instead of film!), electronic mail, videophones, and robots to serve drinks. Four of the six predictions are now common in the living rooms (and bedrooms) of people who can afford them.

The robot who serves our drinks is still a novelty in development. Someone somewhere figured out it was much simpler just to store cold drinks in the living room, or in my case, put a coffeemaker in the bedroom. Besides, a child or a spouse is less likely to trip over the carpet while delivering your Red Bull.

The videophone is available, but never caught on for good reasons. When you are in the comfort of your home, you don't want to put on makeup, or even clothing, just to answer the phone. For those of us who are domestically-challenged, it's not worth cleaning up the room, either. The guy in the picture probably wouldn't even answer the phone, considering that awful tracksuit-and-boots combination he's wearing!