Videophones. We were told again and again that videophones were not only imminent, but that they made so much sense that they might as well already be here, they fit so well into our lives. Only nobody wanted to have to get dressed to answer the house phone. Or put make-up on, or shave. Videophones hit the social fabric and bounced off, and when video calls finally arrived, they were mostly relegated to business usage and long-distance relationship maintenance by appointment. The basic unit of communication has become, not video calls or even voice calls, but text messages.Admittedly this shocked me too. We have Skype and this does exist, but it's not a regular method of exchange by many people on a regular basis... compared to the wonderful idea and better execution of SMS text messaging.
Who saw that coming? The return of the telegram? Pretty much nobody. The industry of futurism is bad at the future.
"Warren Ellis by Gage Skidmore" by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.