Thursday, February 7, 2008

Home Entertainment of the Future (1981)

This image from the book Tomorrow's Home (World of Tomorrow) by Neil Ardley illustrates the home entertainment system of tomorrow.

This section's most interesting prediction may be that, "the magazines, books, records, tapes and television sets we now have will begin to disappear. But in their place the computer will offer us a greater range of entertainment."

The two page spread's text appears below in its entirety.
Look at this play of the future - a performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar by famous actors in your very own living room! Even more amazing, you play the title role yourself. The play has just reached the point where Caesar is killed.

All this could come about with developments in holographic video - a system that uses laser beams to produce images that have depth just as in real life. Once perfected, it will produce a show that takes place not on a screen but in real space - even around you. You could walk in and out of the action, and view it from any direction - the ultimate in realism. In this case, the computer that operates the system has been instructed to omit the role of Julius Caesar so as to allow you to take part. Although the images look so real, you could walk through them, so you suffer no harm from your killers' knives.

Such developments may lie far in the future, but there's no doubt that the computer is going to affect home entertainment soon. The magazines, books, records, tapes and television sets we now have will begin to disappear. But in their place the computer will offer us a greater range of entertainment.

The home computer will be linked to a radio dish on your roof. A satellite or radio mast feeds it with many television channels; on the viewscreen of the computer, you can sit and watch the news or sport in several other countries as well as your own. The radio dish or telephone wires also link your home to computer complexes that feed it with all kinds of recorded entertainment - films, television shows you have missed, video magazines and news. Music comes through the computer too, playing whatever you want and whenever with a quality far beyond today's records and tapes. If you want to read something on your own, a portable screen linked to the computer displays any story of your choice.

See also:
Movie Trends of the 21st Century (1982)
Living Room of the Future (1979)
Thinks We'll Do Our Reading on Screen (1923)
Learning in 1999 A.D. (1967)
Tomorrow's TV-Phone (1956)
Closer Than We Think: Headphone TV (1960)


Anonymous said...

I like how she's using a joystick to perform Shakespeare; nevertheless, holograms don't work that way!

Anonymous said...

My mistake, that's probably a 'he' holding the joystick, unless the guy on the right is a real cool cat.

Anonymous said...

That last paragraph is nearly dead-on. It pretty much describes iTunes, Tivo, blogs, Internet, etc...

Anonymous said...

Is Brutus holding a Wiimote? Also, I am wondering if the girl in the middle of the audience is bodypainted...

Anonymous said...

Julius Caesar is killed? Those damn spoilers of the past century!

Anonymous said...

I like how there's a couple on the audience that doesn't really care about the play and are just flirting with each other. The girl on the far left is a flirt, showing her legs (and a bit more than just that, check the angle) to the Charles Bronson-wannabe on the far right. And he's not behind; the evil, maniac grim on his face and the man-mustache are a dead giveaway.

Anonymous said...

So hologram knives won't hurt... but what about the real-life guy with a real-life knife on the left? He looks a little too into the role, if you ask me.

This is like karioke squared, a descent into the depths of hell. Of course the audience is doing something else or bored -- can you imagine having to sit around at night watching your dad or husband "perform" Julius Caesar? And what happens when Junior comes home from college and says "Let's watch the Sound of Music -- I'll play Maria!"

p.s. Yeah, the audience woman on the left is pretty much all but screaming "I'm not wearing panties! Take me, Brutus, take me!"

Bob Ryskamp said...

"You play the title role yourself!"

"The play has just reached the point where [the title role] is killed!"

Um, what?

Matt said...

The whole thing appears to be running off a modified Mac Classic with an Atari joystick, too.
Which is impressive.

Anonymous said...

And no messy blood to clean up later!

I think we all know that Caligula would be acted out more than Julius Caesar.

Renan Birck said...

The joystick looks like the one I had in an Apple II clone, from some 20 years ago, which I used when I was 3 or 4.

And I agree, this article proved to be quite right.