I used to love watching Beyond 2000 on the Discovery channel, and I just found this episode from 1987 on Youtube. For those who don’t remember it, Beyond 2000 (also known as Beyond Tomorrow in post-2000 years) was a “new technology” oriented show that originated in Australia. It was done in a magazine format, with several hosts in each episode, each talking about one specific scientic or techological achievement. This episode includes segments on; A high tech car, leeches in modern medicine, military video games, preserving temple paintings, a computerized house, and a tiny camera. When you read that list, keep in mind that this episode comes from 1987.
I like watching old tech & science shows like this because it’s fun to see what was groundbreaking back in the day and compare it to now. Some of the things seem so very quaint, others are right inline with modern equivalents, others went the way of the dodo, and still others actually lived up to their promise. The car segment has the now-amusing notion that conventional car doors would be a thing of the past by 1995. The computerized house is a concept that’s finally coming into maturity, although it’s amusing as hell to see it done with 80s tech (a house map that looks like an old video game, with sound effects to match, the very notion of a light pen, using the telephone (a good old fashioned wired handset no less) to talk to the house computer, etc). Meanwhile, the “tiny” camera is large by modern standards, but was actually right on the money & saw a lot of use before newer tech surpassed it (though it is amusing to see them acting like something that size is miraculously small).
This is of course a case of retro-futurism, but unlike the conventional form of retro-futurism where you look back at what your parents or grandparents saw as futuristic, this is interesting because you can actually remember from your own experiences when this stuff was futuristic.