Cell phones, 3D TV, video chat: all predicted in 1954 video

1954 GE film on future consumer technology shows man talking on pocket phone, 3D flat-screen television mounted on the wall, and the ability to store and retrieve programming.

A film unearthed from the GE archives predicts the future of consumer technology, with some innovations that quite accurately predict some of the devices that have just come on the scene over the past decade.

For example, the film predicts that the space-age home will have a device hooked to the television that's similar to a DVR, except that it's controlled by an analog dial versus a remote or on-screen display. The film also shows a clip of husband and wife chatting over two-way video. Perhaps most astounding is the image of a 1954 man pulling a hand-held phone out of his pocket to answer a call. The narrator does warn, however, that "you'll never be able to get away from your telephone, it will be right in your pocket."

The TV of the future is a flat-panel, large-screen device hanging on the wall, capable of 3D imagery. Ominously however, the large-screen TV shows a nuclear explosion in 3D -- with the presumed message that atomic power is being converted to peaceful purposes.

Also notable is the prediction about computers ("electronic brains") capable of doing everything except procreate.

Some of the misses include nitrogen-spewing planes that can replenish barren fields; lighted walls replacing lamps, self-closing windows, and the radio watch. Also still off in Jetsons-land is water and soap-free dishwashers that employ ultrasonic vibrations to clean dishwashers, and programmable ovens that automatically prepare recipes.

The film was produced and released to coincide with GE’s “Diamond Jubilee,” or the 75th anniversary of the development of Edison’s lamp in 1879.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com