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1989 predictions of what homes would look like in the 2020s is astonishingly accurate

Reporters and researchers shared what their hope for future homes looked like in 1989 and come a present day, they were not wrong!

1989 predictions of what homes would look like in the 2020s is astonishingly accurate
Cover Image Source: YouTube| BBC Archives

People of the previous decades had great hopes for the future. With advances in technology in full swing, people knew that the future holds much potential. Having come decades ahead, our present is the once-foreseen future. A clip from the BBC Archives, titled “Tomorrow Land” featured reporters from 1989 sharing what houses would look like in the 2020s. Needless to say, being a part of the 2020s, many predictions have come true impressively. However, a few factors took a knock and have turned into the opposite of what they hoped for.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Kampus Production
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kampus Production

The reporter voiced several questions regarding the housing and future at the time. “Will houses protect the environment? What new technology do researchers think we’ll be living with?” she asked. Speaking with Christine MacNulty, the founder of the Future Homes project, there was insight shared on what future homes would look like. “They’ll want all the benefits from their modern technology but without the cluttered gadgetry we have today,” MacNulty said. She added, “They’ll want homes that work for them. By 2020, all of this will be possible. We’ll have things under control without knobs and buttons.” She also highlighted that the technology will be embedded “in the very fabric of the homes.”

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Sharad Kacchi
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Sharad Kacchi

While the idea laid the foundation for the many technologies we enjoy today, the reporters shared more details. “The lights automatically switch off and on as you switch rooms,” another reporter said. He predicted the idea of motion sensors to preserve electricity. “A simple cabin gives you music from a library,” indicating the concept of Siri and Alexa our generation is pampered with. David Button, another researcher added that even windows wouldn’t be the same as 1989. He shared that drastic change is expected to improve the performance and clarity of glass windows.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Anete Lusina
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Anete Lusina

He mentioned that combining materials to make the glass can allow even modifications. “We can diffuse the glass for privacy,” he suggested. He also pointed out that “people would be able to control the glare of the glass.” Adding another interesting point, Button claimed that the future could see “glass table tops becoming a video screen.” The projectors and vivid developments are somewhat accurate representations of this. However, the reporter cautioned that though remarkable, it would also be too futuristic and expensive for many. MacNulty put forth the idea that people will be required to practice energy management due to the excessive burning of fossil fuels. 


One can understand the gravity of her prediction by the immense use of solar power and energy-saving technologies. While most predictions turned true, few are not for the better. The controlling power of technology that was initially meant to take a “backseat” is troublesome. Moreover, the concept of energy management isn’t followed as efficiently as hoped, causing natural concerns. @Helbore wrote, “That was surprisingly more accurate than I was expecting.” @bmused55 exclaimed, “I distinctly remember this. Not for the tech, but for being a 9-year-old wondering what I'll be like as a 40-year-old in 2020. It seemed so impossibly far away.” @HXLProductions wrote, “It's fair to say the future is always more familiar than people expect.  It's a society that's changed more.” 


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