Dang, did he go there?
Yep. According to a quote found by Big Think, Nikola Tesla basically describes the modern-day smartphone, a communication device so “simple” that we will be able to carry it in our “vest pocket,” back in a 1926 interview with Collier’s magazine.
Here’s the quote:
When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.”
And sure, while vests have gone the way of the horse and carriage, basically predicting the Internet (a.k.a. that “huge brain”) and instant, transportable communication in 1926 is pretty badass. It’s no wonder that in geek world, Tesla is one of the most-admired scientists out there with fans like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman.
You love Tesla, too. In 2013, he became our Geek Madness Champion, beating out other iconic geeks like Alexander Graham Bell, Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Linus Torvalds to easily win our bracketed battle of the geeks.
Read Tesla’s full interview with Collier’s, which is a seriously fascinating step back in time but also one in which Tesla eerily predicts a lot of what’s coming to fruition, including wirelessly controlled “flying machines” that require no fuel, and the rise of women in power positions: “This struggle of the human female toward sex equality will end in a new sex order, with the female as superior.”
I knew there was something else I liked about that guy.