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Modern Mysteries

Old film from 1947 predicted 'mobile phones'

By T.K. Randall
July 2, 2020 · Comment icon 9 comments

A 1940s idea of the future. Image Credit: YouTube / Les Documents Cinematographiques
A French film released in 1947 predicted several modern technologies with a remarkable level of accuracy.
Historical depictions of the future, especially those in TV shows and movies from the first half of the 20th Century, tended to focus on woefully whimsical space-age concepts that were pretty far off the mark, but as it turns out, some early predictions of the 21st Century were surprisingly accurate.

One prime example of this is the 1947 film "Television: Oeil de Demain" or "Television of Tomorrow", which was based on a short story by Rene Barjavel and produced by J. K. Raymond-Millet as a depiction of the future as envisaged only a few short years after the end of World War II.

In a 4-minute clip from the film that has been recently doing the rounds on Twitter, people can be seen going about their daily lives while glued to tiny television sets reminiscent of today's mobile phones.

While the devices themselves aren't quite spot on, the behavior of people using them certainly is - with people walking around, sitting in cafes and going about their business while glued to the screen.
The film also shows someone driving along while watching a screen fitted to their car's dashboard.

It even predicts that people will be so engrossed in such devices that they will inadvertently walk into one another and even get into car accidents because they are not paying attention to driving.

(We're not sure about the man sneakily watching a holographic projection of a woman dancing while his wife is sleeping in bed next to him, however!)

You can check out the clip from the film below.

Source: | Comments (9)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by jethrofloyd 4 years ago
Surprisinglu futuristic movie, but I don't see Facebook or Twitter on their 'mobile phones'.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Essan 4 years ago
They're all too busy watching the latest "must see" on Netflix  to worry about old fashioned stuff like that   
Comment icon #3 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
If you sift through enough old sci-fi, you are guaranteed to find things that have come true. This is partly because sci-fi writers tend to be smart, and base their predictions on current (to them) technology and trends. This is also partly because engineers and scientists are often inspired by and fans of science fiction. Sometimes it seems a little uncanny, like the above movie clip, Star Trek predicting tablet PCs and flip phones, and William Gibson predicting the internet and our relationship to it. But it's still just a combination of coincidence and educated guessing...And the fact that ... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by XenoFish 4 years ago
Are they were inspired by the idea of those things. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by MissJatti 4 years ago
More like portable Tvs then mobile phones
Comment icon #6 Posted by _Only 4 years ago
I remember in Back To The Future 2 they had phone calls come in video over the TV, and at the time it seemed crazy.
Comment icon #7 Posted by jethrofloyd 4 years ago
Comment icon #8 Posted by South Alabam 4 years ago
This is just confirmation bias. It was titled "Television of Tomorrow". Not phone of tomorrow. They did not speak into them. They just want you to believe they predicted phones and not mini TV's.
Comment icon #9 Posted by stereologist 4 years ago
One of the best predictions is in the radio show "A logic named Joe". In the old time radio show, a family buys a computer they call a logic. The son nicknames the logic Joe. Joe is installed at home and is networked. Due to a manufacturing issue Joe removes the safeguards on the networked computers. The networked computers share a tremendous amount of information about those using them and are soon used for nefarious tasks such as poisoning unpleasant bosses. You can listen to it here  

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