I came across this old BBC footage of Arthur C. Clarke in 1964 predicting life in the coming decades, all the way out to the year 2,000.
It is difficult enough to predict what will happen in the future, and far far far more difficult to predict when those predictions will be reality, if ever.
What I find more remarkable is Clarke’s accurate prediction of a fully-connected world, with people working from wherever they want. But at the same time, what he missed is the benefit of face-to-face, in-person meetings.
With the pandemic I’ve now spent more of my career working from home than in an office. I spend most of my days in meetings on Zoom, face-to-face but not in-person. It’s simply not the same experience, and until technology projects a perfect 3D holographic projection of the other people in the virtual room, and me into their virtual room, with no timing delays and will full fidelity of eye-to-eye contact, these virtual meetings will not completely replace the need and benefit of in-person meetings.
Until then, we’ll continue to have cities, continue to fly around the world for business, and continue to have a world that looks a lot more like 1964 than Clarke’s prediction of the future.