How the home of 2020 looked in 1989

This has been doing the rounds on social media and I think it’s worth a mention here. Back in 1989 (yes, 31 years ago), some predictions were made by BBC technology show, “Tomorrow’s World”.

The video is below, so have a look and we’ll go through each point in turn..

1 – The benefits of modern technology but without the cluttered and complex gadgetry. “All under control without all these knobs and buttons”.

Well, I think we’ve definitely got that. Anyone who’s had an Echo or Echo Dot for Christmas will probably now be dimming their lights, playing music, sending messages around the house and controlling their heating – all by voice. Even without one of these, you can do a lot from your smartphone.

2 – You won’t be able to “see the technology” but it will be there.

I think to an extent they’ve got that right too. The big, heavy CRT TV’s and monitors have gone. Our computers have gone. Our big entertainment systems have gone – as have our VCR’s, our DVD players and all the associated discs and clutter. If you sit in our lounge / living room you’ll just see an Echo speaker and a flat panel TV – nothing else really is noticeable technology-wise. Even my laptop (which I’m writing this on right now) is stuffed behind the sofa.

3 – Automatic lights which “learn” from you and music piped in from a sound library.

Again, this seemed space-age back in the day, but you can buy some GU10 spotlights or LED strip lights and control them by your voice. The same for music, streamed in via Spotify or Amazon Music.

4 – Power from anywhere, even on the wall.

Errm… nah.

5 – Innovative glass technology.

This is now being done by OnePlus, who are hiding their lenses using electrically-controlled glass. Plus, the idea of using a panel on the wall as a TV has again been done, if only in a slightly different way.

6 – Energy management in our homes, plus a heating system that “learns”.

We’ve already seen a huge change in how we power our homes – we’re now closing down coal power stations across the UK and alternative methods of supplying our electricity are increasing in popularity. Also, we’re insulating our homes better, with better windows and doors to prevent heat being lost so easily.

Systems like Nest thermostats do now learn your habits, altering heating depending on whether you’re at home and what the temperature is like outside etc. Clever “TRV” (Thermostatic Radiator Valves) can be installed to connect to your WiFi so that yes – you only heat the rooms you’re in.

Very interesting this.