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Bill Gates' 1999 Predictions For The Future Are Scarily Accurate

Tom Wood


Bill Gates' 1999 Predictions For The Future Are Scarily Accurate

As you might already be aware, Bill Gates is pretty good at predicting things. He successfully pointed out that a pandemic could bring the world to a standstill all the way back in 2015, but it turns out he was at it way before that.

In 1999 he released a book called Business @ the Speed of Thought in which he made a number of predictions that must have seemed bold at the time, but - well - just have a see for yourself .

All the way back in the last millennium, Gates foresaw the arrival of everything from price comparison sites to smart devices, right through to things like Ring doorbell cameras and online payments.

Admittedly, he was at the forefront of the tech world, so he could have seen some of those things coming, but it's remarkably impressive, nonetheless.

Take this for example: "Automated price comparison services will be developed, allowing people to see prices across multiple websites, making it effortless to find the cheapest product for all industries."

He stopped short of mentioning the infuriating meerkats, but fair play to him for that one.

'Simples'. Credit: PA
'Simples'. Credit: PA

Then there's this: "People will carry around small devices that allow them to constantly stay in touch and do electronic business from wherever they are.

"They will be able to check the news, see flights they have booked, get information from financial markets, and do just about anything else on these devices."

OK, so there were devices like this that were in their infancy back in 1999, but still - good effort.

He also presciently said: "People will pay their bills, take care of their finances, and communicate with their doctors over the internet."

Yup, that's a thing that we do. Especially now there's a pandemic on.

How about Alexa? Could he have foreseen stuff like that? For sure he could.

"Personal companions' will be developed. They will connect and sync all your devices in a smart way, whether they are at home or in the office, and allow them to exchange data", Gates wrote.

"The device will check your email or notifications, and present the information that you need.

"When you go to the store, you can tell it what recipes you want to prepare, and it will generate a list of ingredients that you need to pick up. It will inform all the devices that you use of your purchases and schedule, allowing them to automatically adjust to what you're doing."

'Alexa, what's going to happen in 22 years?' Credit: PA
'Alexa, what's going to happen in 22 years?' Credit: PA

As for those aforementioned Ring doorbells and Google Nest technologies that many homes have now, Gates saw them coming from a mile off.

He wrote: "Constant video feeds of your house will become common, which inform you when somebody visits while you are not home."

Of course, we had CCTV cameras then, but you get the idea.

As for social media, 1999 Bill had this to say: "Private websites for your friends and family will be common, allowing you to chat and plan for events."

A little vague, that one, but he's got the basic idea. He also said that sports fans would have private forums to chat about the games whilst they happen live.

That's basically Twitter, right there.

You're probably looking at an auto-generated advert right now. Gates predicted those too.

The Microsoft founder said: "Software that knows when you've booked a trip and uses that information to suggest activities at the local destination. It suggests activities, discounts, offers, and cheaper prices for all the things that you want to take part in."

How did he know all of this stuff? Credit: PA
How did he know all of this stuff? Credit: PA

He added: "Devices will have smart advertising. They will know your purchasing trends, and will display advertisements that are tailored toward your preferences."

In the whole book, he predicts all sorts of other stuff like online job recruitment, interest-based forums - Facebook groups, basically - and a host of other things that we now treat as standard parts of daily life.

You'd have to imagine that you don't become one of the richest men in the world without getting a few predictions right.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Celebrity, Technology, Weird, bill gates

Tom Wood
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