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Entries in radio-telephone wristwatch (7)

Sunday
Sep272009

Courtship in the Year 2015 (1915)

The May 31, 1915 Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, IN) republished a short piece from the Springfield Republican about a playlet that imagines the courtship of tomorrow. Spoiler alert: they ruin the ending of the playlet.

A Hundred Years Hence.

Springfield Republican.

A recently produced playlet of the year 2015 describes the courtship of tomorrow. "The maiden of next century is at a desk dreaming of her future family when the future father of the dream family flies in. To prove that they are truly soulmates the rays which register their feelings meet and blend into one shade of red. While they are talking the youth hears through an individual telephone that he wears around his wrist that, even though his morals are above reproach, he can not marry Jane because his great-great-grandfather led a life of dissipation. Both are in despair until Jane calls up the marriage license office and hears that because of her splendid record they may be married."

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
Aug302009

Portable Telephones (1976)

The 1976 book Future Facts is filled with predictions of artificial life, underwater cities and traveling from New York to Los Angeles in 21 minutes. Though the last excerpted line is pretty hilarious, this prediction of the "portaphone" of the future is surprisingly accurate.

A hand-held, completely portable telephone will make it possible to place calls while riding in a bus, walking down the street or sitting in a restaurant. Developed by Motorola, Inc., the first "portaphone" system will be installed in New York City by 1976.

The portaphone looks like a fat Princess phone or a high-fashion walkie-talkie. Weighing less than three pounds, the unit can dial and receive calls anywhere within FM signal range of the system's computer-controlled receivers.

As the caller talks over the portaphone, his voice is radioed to the nearest receiver. The signal is relayed into a central computer, then fed into conventional telephone lines. The computer can track the speaker as he moves about the city, switching the conversation to different receivers to maintain a loud and clear connection.

A portable phone user can contact any conventional or portable phone. The initial cost will be $60 to $100 per month, but as the market demand increases, the costs are expected to go down.

The FCC has proposed 115 MHz of spectrum including channels 73 through 88 for two-way applications. Portaphone will probably operate in that frequency range.

Each telephone has a pushbutton keyboard; it's dialed like a conventional pushbutton phone.

Motorola sees a bright future for the portaphone: "We expect there'll be heavy usage by a widely diverse group of people -- businessmen, journalists, doctors, housewives, virtually anyone who needs or wants telephone communications in areas where conventional telephones are unavailable."

For a while at least, the portaphone will remain a business tool or luxury item. In time, however, portaphones will get smaller and cheaper, just as transistor radios have.

One day you'll call almost anyone, anywhere. You could have instantaneous contact with your doctor or the police. People might be brought closer together than ever before -- with the potential to be in voice contact with others. Next step: two-way wrist radios?

Previously on Paleo-Future:

Thursday
Oct112007

Glenn T. Seaborg's 1989 (1964)

The September 20, 1964 Chicago Tribune ran an article about Glenn T. Seaborg's predictions for the futuristic year of 1989. An excerpt appears below.

In another 25 years, [Seaborg] speculates, teen-agers and adults will have two-way wrist watch radios . . . their own computers to aid studies or automatically translate foreign tongues into English . . . vaccines against cancer . . . synthetic foods . . . books from electronic libraries via closed-circuit TV into their homes . . . flights to Europe in one or two hours . . . clothes of special material which they'll wear once or a few times and then throw away . . . security from hurricanes or tornadoes because scientists will have learned how to prevent disastrous storms.


See also:
Closer Than We Think! Throw-Away Clothes (1959)
The Answer Machine (1964)
Health Care in 1994 (1973)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 1, 1993)
Vision (Clip 1, 1993)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Language of the Future (1982)
Tomorrow's TV-Phone (1956)
That 60's Food of the Future

 

Wednesday
Oct102007

Tomorrow's TV-Phone (1956)

The November 23, 1956 Pasadena Star-News (Pasadena, CA) ran this picture of the "TV-Phone" of the future. If I'm not mistaken, that looks like Dick Clark on the screen.

The phone of the future will fit in the palm of the hand and enable a caller to hear and see the other party in color and 3-D. That's the concept of Harold S. Osborne, retired chief engineer of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co., as pictured and described in the September issue of Mechanix Illustrated Magazine. On the other side of the pocket watch-sized videophone are buttons which Osborne says the caller of tomorrow will push to talk to anyone anywhere on earth. The device may be carried in a pocket or purse, or worn as a locket, Osborne says.


See also:
Ristos (1979)
Wristwatch of the Future as Crimefighter (1979)
Picturephone as the perpetual technology of the future
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)

 

Tuesday
Jul242007

Wristwatch of the Future as Crimefighter (1979)

The 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century goes into some detail about how the "risto" may be used in a variety of applications. Aside from instantly voting via your watch the device apparently has crime-fighting capabilities.


Crime in cities could get a knock from the risto. Police would all be equipped with ristos, making equipment in patrol cars unnecessary. Conversations would be "scrambled" so they could not be overheard and in an emergency, police ristos would have priority over other. In the picture above two thieves have just stolen a car - its owner presses the emergency button on his risto to get help quickly. Emergency calls could be free, though computers would add up the price of other ones.


See also:
Ristos (1979)

Wednesday
May162007

Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)

In 1958 Arthur Radebaugh started the syndicated Sunday comic Closer Than We Think! It ran in newspapers until early 1963. The strip really epitomizes the optimistic brand of futurism so common in the post-WWII era. Below are a few great examples of this paleo-futuristic strip from the Chicago Tribune.

Push-Button Education - May 25, 1958
"Teaching would be by means of sound movies and mechanical tabulating machines."


Wrist Watch TV - April 17, 1960
"TV sets the size of postage stamps will soon be worn on the wrist, each with a personal dialing number."


"Pogo" Police Car - May 4, 1958
"Here, for tomorrow, is the concept of policemen on mechanical pogo platforms ..."


Farm Automation - March 30, 1958
"A floating tower will oversee a swarm of robot implements and tractors operated by electronic command."


Gravity in Reverse - June 29, 1958
"Factory-made houses equipped with antigravity machinery could be floated above the ground - to catch the breezes!"


See also:
Word Origins: Imagineering (1947)
Ristos (1979)
Homework in the Future (1981)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 7, 1993)
The Road Ahead: Future Classroom (1995)
Superfarm of the Year 2020 (1979)

Friday
Mar022007

Ristos (1979)

As promised, here is page 12 of the amazing 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century.

My favorite aspect of this page is that not only are they speculating the coming of the radio-telephone wristwatch, they're speculating its nickname. The "risto" may not be a common sight today but I really wish my cell phone had "pop-out aerials."

Also, check out the "instant voting" they anticipate one could do through their "risto." I certainly forsee no problems with that. Electronic voting machines are pretty widely accepted as reliable in 2007, right?

Stay tuned, this book is over 30 pages of paleo-future goodness.