Clarke's predictions

2001 got the future at least partially right

By Jeremy Hilborn and Amy Skonberg

      Thirty years ago, 2001: A Space Odyssey made a lot of predictions about future technology. With 2001 only four years away, writer Arthur Clarke has seen some of his own inventions become a reality.
      The public videophones from 2001 seemed impractical and expensive, but video conferencing has quickly become the new craze. It's easy to use for anyone who has a PC that runs Windows 95 and has a 28.8 Kb/s modem. Video conferencing has become so wide spread that competing companies run commercials on national television.
      Ameritech representatives agree. "They [video phones] are becoming increasingly popular for conferences with work and in private residences."
      Video conferencing could become one of the most popular new additions to the American home. Wired Magazine predicts 20% of households having videophones by 2005.
      Clarke wasn't right about everything, though. His self-sufficient moon base is still only a dream. Scientists tried to create a closed ecosystem on Earth called Biosphere 2 and failed.
      University of Illinois professor Dr. Sid Rosen doesn't see the moon base happening anytime soon.
      "With serious consideration from scientists, the earliest we can expect a moon base is by 2075 or 2100," Rosen said. "All kinds of scientists would have to come together to make this happen: biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers, psychologists. We'd have to use every facet of knowledge that man has."