Nikola Tesla And Correct Predictions About Smartphones, Robots From The 1800s

Dhir Acharya - Oct 08, 2020

Nikola Tesla And Correct Predictions About Smartphones, Robots From The 1800s

Nikola Tesla wasn't only an inventor, engineer, and futurist but also one who made many predictions about the future, which turn out true.

Nikola Tesla, the famous Serbian-American inventor, engineer, and futurist, remains one of the most admired figures in engineering. He was behind many breakthroughs in the transmission, production, as well as application of electricity. He developed the alternating current that has become the basis of electricity for houses and buildings. Tesla also pioneered in radio communication by building on Guglielmo Marconi’s work.

Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla

Not just an inventor but Tesla was also a futurist with many predictions about the future of technology that describe the modern world as well though he lived in the 1800s. His lesser-known ideas can actually show how great his futurist mind is. Here are some of his predictions that turn out true in the real world today.

A world with internet, smartphones, and wireless communication

Tesla made a correct prediction about the birth of the internet, wireless communication, and smartphones. Though he’s not credited as the inventor, he played a role in inventing a marge part of the tech we use these days, including television, the radio, AC electricity, neon lighting, fluorescent lighting, robotics, radio-controlled devices, radar, X-rays, microwaves, among other inventions.

Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla believed there would be smartphones and wireless communication

In the following paragraph, written in 1904, he precisely and correctly described a modern smartphone as a cheap, simple device to carry in the pocket.

“My scheme of intelligence transmission, for which the name of "World Telegraphy" has been suggested, is easily realizable. I have no doubt that it will prove very efficient in enlightening the masses... Each of them will be preferably located near some important center of civilization, and the news it receives through any channel will be flashed to all points of the globe.  A cheap and simple device, which might be carried in one's pocket, may then be set up somewhere on sea or land, and it will record the world's news or such special messages as may be intended for it. Thus the entire earth will be converted into a huge brain, as it were, capable of response in every one of its parts.  Since a single plant of but one hundred horse-power can operate hundreds of millions of instruments, the system will have a virtually infinite working capacity, and it must needs immensely facilitate and cheapen the transmission of intelligence.”

A world with robots

Nikola Tesla also believed that machines would one day have their own minds, which is true with the rise of robots and AI. In 1898, the genius even developed a remote-controlled boat called “Tele automation” that both shocked and confused onlookers when it exhibited to the crowd.

Nikola Tesla
His Tele automation

At the time, most people didn’t even know about radio waves, so they couldn’t understand how Tesla was able to control the movements and lights of a boat with his box. Many who witnessed this said it was magic while others believed it was some kind of killer robots.

“Innumerable activities still performed by human hands today will be performed by automatons. At this very moment scientists working in the laboratories of American universities are attempting to create what has been described as a 'thinking machine.' I anticipated this development. I actually constructed 'robots.' Today the robot is an accepted fact, but the principle has not been pushed far enough. In the twenty-first century the robot will take the place which slave labor occupied in ancient civilization. There is no reason at all why most of this should not come to pass in less than a century, freeing mankind to pursue its higher aspirations.”

The sky with flying machines

Tesla predicted a type of flying machine with wings, ailerons, propellers, and airbags that relied on positive movement using magnetic and electrostatic fields. He believed that these machines would help someone fly from Europe to the US within a few hours. He said that the aircraft could be fueled by wireless energy, which would blur the national borders.

Nikola Tesla
He patented a flying machine

Furthermore, he described how the dissolution of national borders would bring peace and harmony to the world. Sadly, he seems wrong in this prediction.

Tesla even thought about a world of flight and antigravity. In 1928, he patented an electro propulsive flying machine resembling an airplane and a helicopter. Before passing away, he reportedly devised plans for a spaceship’s engine, which he called the anti-electromagnetic field drive.

“After these experiments I planned to build a flying machine, which could fly not only in the air but within interplanetary space. The principle of operation of the flying machine is as follows: towards the flight direction, compression of the ether is to become weaker by the generator installed in the flying machine. As the ether keeps pressing with prior intensity from all other sides, then the flying machine began moving. Being within this flying machine you will not feel its speeding-up as the ether is not to hamper your movement. I had to abandon my plans to create the flying machine. There were two reasons for it: first, I have no money to work in secret. But the main reason is that the great war began in Europe and I wouldn’t like my inventions used to kill! When on earth will these madmen stop?”

Nikola Tesla
The modern airplane

Free energy and the end of monopolies

Tesla believed that the world was close to harnessing the energy and that energy monopolies would eventually cease to exist. The genius realized that there was energy all around us and all we needed was to harness the natural energy we can get for free.

“The earth currents of electricity are to be harnessed.  Nature supplies them free of charge.  The cost of power and light and heat will be practically nothing.”

Nikola Tesla
He believed we would be able to harness energy from nature

Tesla predicted that power and energy would be democratized and decentralized, which we have witnessed happen with the internet, digital news, technology, entertainment, and information. His home battery system also indicated that energy would be decentralized in the future.

“The scientist-electricians who have for years been trying to master the mystery of electrical earth currents with which the ground beneath your feet is filled, are on the threshold of success.  The success of the experiments they have under way means much to them, but vastly more to the people. 

It means that if Nikola Tesla succeeds in harnessing the electrical earth currents and putting then to work for man there will be an end to oppressive, extortionate monopolies in steam, telephone, telegraphs and the other commercial uses of electricity, and that the grasping millionaires who have for two decades milked the people's purse with electrical fingers will have to relinquish their monopoly.”

>>> Machine Learning Is Better Than Humans In Predicting Stock Market Behavior, Report


Sort by Newest | Popular

Next Story

Read more

Why iPhone 15 Costs A Lot Even Though It's Made in India?

Mobile- Sep 28, 2023

Why iPhone 15 Costs A Lot Even Though It's Made in India?

iPhone enthusiasts are extremely excited, and there are long lines outside Apple stores in Delhi and Mumbai as people eagerly wait to get their hands on the iPhone 15.