Curtsy to Brett McS for this one: Magic of mobile phones and Wi-Fi foreseen 100 years ago
A runaway success in 1910, the book has been reprinted 100 years later – again to huge acclaim.
By commissioning experts in their respective fields, editor Arthur Brehmer ensured his book’s incorrect predictions were just as interesting as the many correct ones.
In his essay “The Wireless Century”, author Robert Stoss predicted: “Everything we now can send and receive through wires we can also send by wireless means.
“Everyone will have his own pocket telephone with which he can connect with whomever he wishes, wherever he is: on the sea, in the mountains, in his room, on a racing train, ship or a plane gliding through the air.” This pocket telephone would have a myriad of settings including ring tone and vibration options.
He forecasted a kind of public Wi-Fi in “every train, public house and apartment” and even the humble fax – useful, he suggested, to transmit last-minute stays of execution signed by the Kaiser.
Austrian novelist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Bertha von Suttner foresaw a united, peaceful Europe based on reciprocity – and the fear of overkill.
Love would be deconstructed by 2010 to its constituent parts: “radioactive sympathy rays of the soul and the heart”. Religion would be alive and well, “but as one house, no one will demand: ‘Feel, think, believe as I do’.”
It’s a far sight from the Fritz Lang.