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In 1989, People Thought This is How 2020 Would Look Like

They got most things right.
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Over 30 years ago, researchers pictured what the home of the future would look like. It is amazing that even without the Internet at the time, they were able to predict many things that homes already have today. 

For instance, they talked about eliminating knobs and buttons to switch our lights or appliances on or off, and how the lighting in our homes would automatically activate when we walked into a room. 

“They’d want all the benefits of modern technology but without all these cluttered and complex gadgetries we have today,” said Christine MacNulty of Applied Futures, Inc. 

“We’ll have things under control without all these knobs and buttons. And what’s more, the technology itself will be embedded in the very fabric of the house and its furnishings,” she added. 

MacNulty may not have mentioned it, but she was actually describing something we have today: IoT, or the Internet of Things

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IoT is the collection of things that can communicate with each other through a wireless network to make things easier for humans. Appliances that connect to your WiFi are fine examples of IoTs: Your air-conditioning system, WiFi-enabled lamps and ceiling lights, that robot vacuum cleaner, your fridge, speakers, and so much more. In some homes, these are all controlled through a central device which could be Alexa, Siri, or what have you. 

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The researchers also predicted that by 2020, there will be huge pressure on reducing our reliance on fossil fuel. Prior to COVID-19, the issue of global warming and reduction of our use of fossil fuel was a central issue. Greta Thunberg’s Skolstrejk för Klimatet (School Strike for Climate) captured the world’s attention. 

Another accurate prediction from 1989 is how we listen to music. 

"A simple command gives you music, perhaps piped in from a sound library," said a commentator. He then utters a command, "Bach, please," and then a classic composition by the musician starts playing. Of course, this tech wasn't available in 1989. 

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Watch the video below for other predictions that people got right about the year 2020. 

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About The Author
Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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