1990s Writer Predicts Smartphones In An Eerily Accurate Article
Tech writer David Gerrold was asked what he thought about the future of computing, his detailed account was spookily accurate.
The 1990 article has gone viral after Esther Schindler (the person who interviewed Gerrold) tweeted the article- saying “In 1999, I asked David Gerrold to write a “future of computing” prediction for the magazine where I was Technology Editor. Here’s what he wrote.”
In 1999, I asked David Gerrold to write a “future of computing” prediction for the magazine where I was Technology Editor. Here’s what he wrote. pic.twitter.com/UAMM0Pm4W6
— Esther Schindler (@estherschindler) 28 March 2018
“I’ve got a cell phone, a pocket organiser, a beeper, a calculator, a digital camera, a pocket tape recorder, a music player, and somewhere around here, I used to have a colour television.
Sometime in the next few years, all of those devices are going to meld into one. It will be a box less than an inch thick and smaller than a deck of cards. (The size will be determined by what’s convenient to hold, not by the technology inside).
The box will have a high-res colour screen, a microphone, a plug for a headset or earphones, a camera lens, wireless connectivity, cell phone and beeper functions, a television and radio receiver, a digital recorder, and it will have enough processing power and memory to function as a desktop system. It will be able to dock with a keyboard and full size monitor. Oh yes, and it will handle email as well.
Most important of all, it will have both speech recognition and speech synthesis. It will listen and respond in English or whatever language you need, and yes it will be a translator too. It will be an agent, going out and doing cyber errands for you. For instance, I need a Japanese restart in Tulsa, near the Ramada Inn. Book a reservation and arrange transportation.
If there’s no Japanese restaurant, try for Italian. Or voicemail Bob as follows: ‘Bob, we accept your offer, but we’ll need a draft of the deal memo by the 15th. Let me know if that’s a problem.’
I call this device a Personal Information Telecommunications Agent, or Pita for short. The acronym also can stand for Pain in the Ass, which it is equally likely to be, because having all that connectivity is going to destroy what’s left of everyone’s privacy.”
The article shared with such detailed accuracy, that it really is quite spooky. Twitter user asked Josh Constantine responded saying “Whoa. Can this dude tell us how to fix the problems our phones caused?”
Whoa. Can this dude tell us how to fix the problems our phones caused?
— Josh Constine (@JoshConstine) 28 March 2018
This was a point Gerrold cover when referencing the smart device as Pita, the acronym for Pain in the Ass.
Smart devices have become a “Pita”, but also a very helpful tool, in this lays the problem that many have forgotten. The phone is to be used, and not to use you. When we get lost in our devices we forget that they are merely just a tool that can better our lives when we can use them responsibly.