I found this book a while ago in a second hand shop, as you might imagine. Its dated façade and allure of 1986 futurism proved far too irresistible to pass, so with the hope it would allow me to revisit the kind of feeling I had when thumbing through my Guinness Book of World Records the decision was made and modest transaction completed.
I have good memories of watching Beyond 2000 in TV form back in the good old 20th century; in fact I quite miss being informed on all the up-and-coming technological advances we could all look forward to, preposterousness aside. Certainly, this is one of the main appeals of this book. It’s really something to browse through and see what has actually become commonplace some 25 years later. CD players for example were relatively new and the question was still there as to when the digital (and evidently supreme) format would surpass analogue LPs. Similarly, I was surprised to see an article on High Definition digital television sets, brand spanking new at the time and touted as the way of the future. I had no idea such technology went back so far. It seems like just in the last decade the terminology appeared for consumers (the idea also lingers that our understanding of HDTV is vastly different to 1986's).
Of course it’s not just gadgetry that this formidable gem is concerned with. Advances in medicine, computing, agriculture, mining, transport and seemingly every other facet of life is given the treatment of imaginable progression. To illustrate this point and hopefully shed light on the intrigue, I have listed below some choice inventions/advancements that I found interesting. See for yourself what has eventuated and what has not; either way it’s great stuff and makes me wish the show was still around.
• 500 story, kilometre high skyscrapers
• A computer that scans what letter or word you're looking at on its screen to process commands
• Solar cells that would soon be so cheap we'll all be using them as replacement roof tiles
• Solar radio stations
• Wine university
• Robot apple pickers
• EFTPOS cards
• Robotic shopping trolleys that follow you around
• Those electric violins
• Automated trains
• Fish farming
They could bring BEYOND 2000 back and just make it a current affairs program as well.