Much of what surrounds us today was already envisioned by Tesla a century ago.
Back in 1926, Collier’s magazine published a conversation with the inventor Nikola Tesla, the content of which, at that time, was shocking. In it, the renowned scientists made some unbelievable predictions (for his time) about the future and the 21st century, in particular.
Over the years, he made many predictions, many of which came true. Examples: An utterly different order will arise in the future, where women will have a dominant role. Humanity will begin to communicate with each other thanks to simple handheld devices. The planes will have unmanned control and so much more.
1. Wireless connection
Suppose the industrialist John Morgan had not been stingy in supporting Tesla’s developments. In that case, the Serbian scientist might have gone as far as the invention of the Internet – at least he argued that the Wardencliff Tower could wirelessly transmit voice, text, and images anywhere in the world. He argued that pictures had already been transmitted over wires (telegraphs) over short distances, but in the future, the wireless transmission will limit the distance.
2. Drones/Remote Controlled Tech
A boat without oars, which by itself glides on the water – such a sight appeared before the eyes of those who watched Tesla’s demonstration experiment in 1898. Using the remote control, batteries, and switches invented by him, the engineer from the shore turned the boat’s steering wheel, started the propeller, and lit the side lights on board, which looked incredible at the time.
In fact, Tesla presented the world’s first real prototype of a robot 22 years before the Czech writer Karel Čapek came up with the very definition of such a technique, and in the modern world, it has taken a firm place and continues to develop.
3. Automated Workforce
In the 1930s, technology had advanced to the extent that an automated workforce performed regular human activities. In 1935, Nikola Tesla predicted that robots and machines will replace human labor almost entirely.
While this still has not happened, it is more than obvious that machines are already replacing human hands in many industries, and experts often point out this as one of the most critical problems of the future when many people will lose their jobs due to technology.
4. Cheap Renewable Energy
Nikola Tesla believed that the whole world is filled with an infinite amount of energy, which, with the proper level of technical equipment, can be used for free, wherever and whenever. Tesla also believed that we could utilize water to generate cheap renewable energy that would replace the regular expensive sources. He even wanted to give people free energy, which was not well accepted by his financiers.
5. Mobile Phones/Smartphones
Nikola Tesla predicted that the world will have small wireless devices combining various technologies and wireless connections. While he obviously did not say the words mobile phone or smartphone, his description from 1926 does sound similar.
He described a device that would allow us to see and hear each other as if we were speaking face to face, and it would be small enough to carry in a pocket.
6. Self-driving cars
In 1898, Nikola Tesla proposed the construction of an automobile carriage that could perform various operations by itself. It took another 100 years before it became a reality, but now, a company that took the same name (Tesla) has proven that this is the future technology.
7. Rise of environmental protection
One of Tesla’s most important predictions is the rise of environmental protection. That is, global efforts will increase. He envisioned this would happen by 2035, but it happened much sooner – the American Environmental Protection Agency was founded 35 years later, in 1970.
8. Female Empowerment
Tesla predicted that women will play a dominant role in the future. He suggested that women would receive equal education to men and will start taking leadership positions in society.
9. Science will become more important to society
In his time, politics and war were the predominant topics in society. One of Nikola Tesla’s predictions suggested that newspapers would focus more on science instead of politics in the future, and society would be much more interested in the latest discoveries than warfare. While politics still occupy the first pages of newspapers, news channels, and social media, people are generally more interested in science.
10. Wireless News
Tesla predicted that printed newspapers will be replaced and news would be delivered wirelessly. He envisioned that everything will be accessible to people at home every day.
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• Kilson, K. (2016, March 7). Nikola Tesla’s Future Predictions Were Wrong and Right, but Uniformly Fascinating. Inverse.
• McSweeney, K., Robinson, R., & Bonderud, D. (n.d.). The intersection of technology, innovation & creativity. Now. Powered by Northrop Grumman.
• Novak, M. (2013, April 19). Nikola Tesla’s Amazing Predictions for the 21st Century. Smithsonian.com.