There were many great predictions in history, like Robert Boyle’s 1660 prediction that humans would transplant organs in the future.
When it comes to technology it is difficult to beat Nikola Tesla’s 1890 prediction that “it will soon be possible to transmit wireless messages all over the world so simply that any individual can own and operate his own apparatus”.
Another impressive prediction came from Isaac Asimov in 1988 when he said that through computers we will gain access to “connected libraries” – basically describing the World Wide Web.
In South Africa a few prominent technology personalities also made some prophetic predictions – here are some of the better ones.
Rudi Jansen – uncapped broadband
October 2010: Former MWEB CEO Rudi Jansen said that the excitement and uptake of its uncapped ADSL products showed the massive pent-up demand for uncapped services, and anyone who thought that one could go back to a ‘capped world’ was completely misguided. This was despite many detractors saying that uncapped broadband was unsustainable.
December 2014: Uncapped broadband products remain very popular in South Africa, proving that Jansen’s prediction was correct.
Arthur Goldstuck – Digital TV migration
September 2008: World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck predicted that the digital TV migration deadline of November 2011 would be missed. He later predicted that the new deadlines of 2014 and 2015 will also be missed.
December 2014: All the digital TV deadlines have been missed to date, and there is currently no certainty on when digital TV broadcasts will replace analogue broadcasting.
Arthur Goldstuck – Google Glass
April 2012: Arthur Goldstuck said that Project Glass was more of a gimmick to show what was possible rather than a real consumer category killer.
December 2014: Two and a half years after Google Glass was unveiled, most people agree that the future of the gadget does not look bright. Some experts have predicted the death of the project, with Apple CEO Tim Cook saying that Google Glass has no mass appeal.
Alan Knott-Craig – Consolidation in telecoms market
October 2012: Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig predicted that consolidation in the South African telecommunications market was inevitable, because smaller players could not compete against large companies.
December 2014: Vodacom is planning to acquire Neotel, and MTN is working on an infrastructure sharing deal with Telkom Mobile. iBurst and Vox Telecom are also in the process of being acquired.
Jannie van Zyl – Cell C mobile data prices
March 2011: Vodacom’s Jannie van Zyl said that Cell C’s data promotion at the time was compelling but not sustainable in the long term. Van Zyl predicted that Cell C would revert back to higher prices after its promotion ran out.
October 2011: Cell C unveiled its new data products on 3 October 2011, which were significantly more expensive than the promotional offers.