30 Failed Predictions About Future of Technology

Posted on 23 March 2009

If I will do this, then this will happen, and if i do this differently then that may happen. Yes, it is what we all keep doing. We all try to define our future steps by planning things and then thinking that this will happen in the end. But what we lack is we see things with our strength and ability. We forget that some people posses ‘can do attitude’ and once they decide to do something, they continue working on it until they get success.

future of technology

Same is true in technology world as well. Many people from technology world has been predicting, but most of the predictions were cause of a laugh when that time came and prediction turned false. Following is a list of 30 best predictions which never came true. Lets know about them.

highspeedrail1.  High speed Rails

Dr Dionysys Larder (1793-1859) predicted that

“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia”.

Dr Dionysys was a professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College London.

steam-ship2.  Making of a Ship against Wind

When Napoleon Bonaparte was told of rober Fulton’s steamboat in 1800, his statement was

“How, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have not the time to listen to such nonsense.”

3.  Railroads is a bad system

Martin Van Buren, Governor of New York, in 1830 wrote to the president that

“Dear Mr. President: The canal system of this country is being threatened by a new form of transportation known as ‘railroads’ … As you may well know, Mr. President, ‘railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ‘engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed”.

telephone4.  Telephone has Shortcomings

It was printed in a memo at Western Union in 1878 ( or may be 1876) that

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us”.

electric-light-bulb_web5.  Electric Light will Close as well

Oxford professor Erasmus Wilson predicted that

“When the Paris Exhibition [of 1878] closes, electric light will close with it and no more will be heard of it”.

Today, we can’t expect life without electricity.

6.  British Post don’t Need Telephone

It seems British were not believing on fast communications. In 1878, British Post Office gave a statement that

“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys”.

How backward thought they were having.

Left_Shoulder_Xray 7.  X-rays will be nothing but a Hoax

In 1883, the president of Royal Society Mr Lord Kevin stated that

“X-rays will prove to be a hoax”.

8.  Alternating Current – A waste of time

Thomas Edison was an American inventor. In 1889 he commented that

“Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever”.

Edison was fond of passing ridiculous arguments against his competitor George Westinghouse for AC power.

airline-flight 9.  Impossible Flight of Machines Heavier than Air

“Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.”

This was predicted by Simon Newcomb. The prediction turned false when The Wright Brothers flew at Kitty hawk 18 months later.

10.  Very Poor Energy by an Atom

Ernest Rutherford predicted that

“The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing”.

He gave his statement just after splitting the atom for the first time. He further stated that

“Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine.”

11.  Submarine will do Nothing

HG Wells was a British novelist. In 1901, he stated that

“I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea”.

Wish he was still alive to see how submarines are playing a role in defense of a country.

12. Automobile will Never Replace Horsehorsecart

We can see how automobile has replaced horses. But in 1903, the president of Michigan Savings Bank advised Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in Ford Motor Co. According to him,

“The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad”.

This means he was not trusting on mechanical engineering at all.

13.  Transmitting voice across the Atlantic

In 1913, Lee DeForest sold the stock of his Radio Telephone Company by making a prediction that

“It would be possible to transmit the human voice across the Atlantic before many years”.

14.  People want to see flesh and blood

In 1916, Charlie Chaplin, the actor, producer, director and studio founder, stated that

“The cinema is little more than a fad. It’s canned drama. What audiences really want to see is flesh and blood on the stage”.

It has been proved that audience is more interested towards love stories

15.  Cavalry will Never be Replaced by Iron Coaches

In 1916, Aide-de-camp passed his comment to Field Marshal Haig at the tank demonstration that

“The idea that cavalry will be replaced by these iron coaches is absurd. It is little short of treasonous”.

radio 16.  Wireless Music box has no Value

When Associates of David Sarnoff was asked to invest in the radio in 1921, he stated that

“The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?”.

In modern era, people love going wireless.

17.  Projecting Man in Gravitational Field

In 1926, Lee DeForest again predicted that

“To place a man in a multi-stage rocket and project him into the controlling gravitational field of the moon where the passengers can make scientific observations, perhaps land alive, and then return to earth – all that constitutes a wild dream worthy of Jules Verne. I am bold enough to say that such a man-made voyage will never occur regardless of all future advances”.

The thing to remember is that Lee DeForest was inventor of the vacuum tube as well.

18.  Bigger Plane?

“There will never be a bigger plane built”.

A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people. We can see Airbus A380 in action.

19.  Nuclear Energy will not be Obtainable

In 1932, Albert Einstein stated that

“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will”.

discovery-launch 20.  Rocket will never leave Earth’s atmosphere

In 1936, New York Times predicted that

“A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.”

21.  The bomb will never go off

In 1945, Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy during World War II, advised President Truman on the atomic bomb that

“This is the biggest fool thing we have ever done. The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives.”

22.  Television won’t Capture any Market

In 1946, Darryl Zanuck predicted that

“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night”.

Darryl was a movie producer of 20th Century Fox.

23.  Television is a Flashplazmatv

Mary Somerville, the pioneer of radio educational broadcasts stated that

“Television won’t last. It’s a flash in the pan”.

He passed his statement in 1948 after the introduction of Television in market.

24.  Market for Copying Machines

IBM passed a statement to the eventual founders of Xerox that

“The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most.”

Furthermore,  saying that

“the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production”.

The statement was passed in 1959.

25.  Communication Space Satellites

T. Craven, FCC Commissioner in 1961 stated that

“There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States.”

26.  Computers in Homeolpc

This was made by Ken Oslon, the president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). In 1977, he passed a statement against computers which was that

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

Being a founder of DEC, a maker of big business mainframe computers, he was still stating against computers which was really hilarious.

27.  Music Recording will Kill Music

In 1980, a campaign was started by BPI claiming that people recording music off the radio onto cassette would destroy the music industry. The slogan for the campaign was set as

“Home Taping Is Killing Music”.

28.  Heavier than Air Flying Machines

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible”;

in 1985 Lord Kelvin, British mathematician and physicist, president of the British Royal Society gave his statement.

29.  Nuclear-powered Vacuum Cleaners

Another interesting prediction made by Alex Lewis, president of vacuum cleaner company – Lewis Corporation, was

“Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality in 10 years”.

30.  32-bit Operating System

Another hilarious prediction was made by Bill Gates, the CEO of Microsoft corporation, that

“We will never make a 32 bit operating system”.

The prediction turned false when Windows 98 was released by Microsoft.

Not what you are looking for? Try Google Search!

People who liked this Post also read

This post was written by:

R. MAK. - who has written 233 posts on ixibo.

How Should I describe me?... Well! I am a simple dude, who likes to indulge in intelligent conversation with an intelligent people, specially on technology topics hope you are one of them :p

Popular Tags

 predictions that never came true , failed predictions of the future , failed future predictions , failed internet predictions , wrong predictions about technology , predictions never came true , jules verne story of the future , future technology predictions , failed predictions from the past about the present technology , predictions about future technology , future predictions that never came to be , incorrect predictions about technology , predictions for the future in technology , predictions of the future that never came true , future predictions , movie predictions about the future , predictions for 2010 that never came true , predictions made last ten years that came true , predictions of future people past , predictions about the internet , predictions jules verne , predictions about the future that never came true , microsoft biggest failed predictions , Microsoft corporation predictions for 2009 , microsoft failed predictions , Movie Predictions That Never Came True , movie technology predictions correct , movies failed predictions , movies future prediction , pcworld internet prediction fail , prediction of the future technology and society , prediction that automobile will not replace horse , prediction that never came true , left shoulder x ray views , predictions of the future that never cme true , predictions that came true about the internet , time the future of technology , top failed predictions 2000 , untrue business predictions , untrue technology predictions , when computer fail in future , winterboard themes fail to show , world predictions that came true , Write your predictions about in 30 years time internet , wrong jules verne predictions , wrong PREDICTIONS einstein , wrong predictions from the past about internet , wrong predictions internet , thigns from the future that never came true , The future that never came true 

30 Responses to “30 Failed Predictions About Future of Technology”

  1. Rich says:

    at this point in time, the future is a blank page. no one can be sure of any specific outcome. if history has taught us anything, it’s that humanbeings seem to push the boundaries of the possible, often resulting in heretofore unexpected results.

  2. lyle says:

    I guess you can never listen to anybody that does not see your vision. Try and Try again until you succeed. The future is brights

  3. Seab says:

    I wasn’t aware that Lord Kelvin was alive in 1985. Nor that he had no access to footage of heavier than air flying machines. =]

  4. shahid says:

    everything is possible but it take its time as well as effort. be postive and pioneer

  5. happysmoker says:

    My prediction for the future: That the internet will eventually become aware of itself. Who knows what that means? But I’m pretty sure it’ll happen – maybe not in our lifetimes – sometime, the internet will come to ‘life’.

  6. Toby says:

    On #13, you left off the most important bit. The guy was arrested and charged with fraud for raising money by saying telephone across the Atlantic was possible. He was, of course, absolutely right.

  7. Ben says:

    I am not sure if English is your first language, I would hope it isn’t because your writing is quite bad.

  8. Nick says:

    This is terribly done, riddled with dumb inaccuracies. Why would someone say heavier than air flight is impossible in 1985? Eighty years after they died?

  9. Dave says:

    #8 should read “Nikola Tesla” rather than Westinghouse.

  10. David West says:

    Two things.

    16. People today are on Twitter, whose entire marketing model is sending messages out into the internet to no one in particular.

    30. Bill Gates: Computers will never need more than 640k.

  11. Phil says:

    This site is LOADED with Fase statements!…
    First of all x-rays were not even DISCOVERED until 1895… how could # 7 have even been made.
    And Dave’s comment… Nikola Tesla “Sold” his patents to Westinghouse. Edison’s ridicule was for Tesla AND Westinghouse…
    This is the problem with the internet even Idiot with a keyboard gets to WRITE History and pas it off as authentic.

  12. arghh says:

    Wow This was incredibly hard to read.

  13. Billy Bob says:

    How can 28 be true? Heavier than air flying machines were around long before 1985, as was Lord Kelvin, who died in 1907.

  14. Adam We says:

    never underestimate the human drive. We have done increible things and will continue to do so. Anyone that says something cannot be done or is impossible is just asking to be proven wrong.

  15. srx says:

    Einstein was right. Atomic energy is not harnesed or used in our benefit. We use a fraction of heat radiation to create steam in order to generate electric power via turbines powered by the steam.

    We do not have any ability to use atomic power. Nuclear bomb is hardly harnesed or for everyday use. We do not use energy from such a blast for our benefit.

    So, Einstein was right.

    And, Edisons main competitor in AC/DC struggle was Nikola Tesla recently acknowledged by the Supreme Court as the inventor of the “Radio” and other patents erlier claimed by among others Edison (such as a light bulb, gramophon and others)

  16. michael says:

    For number 14 you have at the bottom that research shows that romantic movies are the preferred genre. When chaplin said “flesh and blood” i’m pretty sure he meant theater as opposed to horror flicks, as in people would rather see a story acted out by real people in front of their very eyes than see it projected onto a screen. He was still wrong but just sayin’.

  17. michael says:

    And for number 27, i don’t really know much about this but doesn’t it sound like that statement is equivalent to the present “downloading music is theft”?… again, just sayin’

  18. Ken Oslon says:

    It seems there has been a terrible mistake here. I, Ken Oslon, have the utmost support for the “home computer” (-snicker, snicker-) and would never say something so utterly proposterous. I have set in motion a plan within my company, Digital Equipment Corporation, to have a computer which would only measure in size the equivilant to an outhouse, in one third of every house in our great United States. In our Savior’s name, if our neighbours to the north and our british friends from across the pond that is the Atlantic Ocean can do it, then why can’t our great nation.

  19. g says:

    Interesting read

  20. Daniel says:

    This is riddled with innacuracies. Martin Van Buren was neither governor of New York, nor was he President of the United States in 1830. Enos T. Throop was Governor of New York in 1830. The President of the US was Andrew Jackson. Martin Van Buren was, at the time, the Secretary of State under Jackson. Have some pride in your work. Check your facts. The head of this particular segment should also read “Railroads ARE a bad system.” Last, but not least, it is completely untrue: http://www.snopes.com/language/document/vanburen.asp

  21. ali says:

    great article…and very informative

  22. StainlessSteelCynic says:

    “11. Submarine will do Nothing – HG Wells.
    Wish he was still alive to see how submarines are playing a role in defense of a country.”
    H.G. Wells did live long enough to see submarines used in warfare, he was still living in London during WW2

  23. Derek says:

    I would have read the whole article, but poorly written, your spelling sucks, and your page format overlays paragraphs of text in firefox. Horrid Article.


March 2009
« Feb   Apr »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31