Technology 23 February 2017 7 adorably wrong retro visions of the future With the future looking gloomier than ever, let's take a look at what could have been. Chicago Daily News Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up Ah, the future. The golden, glorious future. A time when food will be replaced by pills, walking will be replaced by hovering, and someone will have finally invented a printer that will print your black and white theatre ticket even though (even though!) you have an empty magenta ink cartridge. Who can wait? Unfortunately, what with the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it (see: Trump, Donald J) the future seems less and less spectacular everyday. Is it time to build an underground bunker? Who can say? I can. The answer is yes. But while you're waiting for your Spaghetti Hoops to heat up in your concrete hidey-hole, you'll need something to read. Here are seven futures that we could have had, if it wasn't for fascism (and also, I guess, the fact that some of these are really dumb). 1. Commuter helicopters Popular Mechanics (1951) via Flyingcarsandfoodpills.com What they predicted: Personal helicopters which would transform commuting forever. Why it didn't happen: Because apparently Future Us are sufficiently advanced enough to create mini, personal helicopters, but not smart enough to have grasped the concept of a helipad. 2. Instantly-cookable food Via Reddit u/Jaykirsch What they predicted: Food that can be heated or chilled instantly within its packet, by the turn of a knob. Why it didn't happen: Remember in 2005 when Walkers Worcester Sauce crisps were recalled because it was thought they'd give you cancer? Yeah, that. 3. Space puppies Amazing Science Fiction (1958) via Pulparchive.com What they predicted: Space puppies. Puppies in space. Why it didn't happen: Because God enjoys our pain. 4. The "Dinosaur Truck" elevated bus The Practical Science For Boys And Girls (1949) via Darkroastedblend.com What they predicted: Buses that could seamlessly glide over cars, carrying us onwards to a new and better future. Why it didn't happen: It did! China have it. Well done China. 5. A radio that prints newspapers Radio Craft (1934) via Tarzan.org What they predicted: A radio that could print out your morning newspaper, with some kind of nice little red thing on top. Why it didn't happen: All media is obsolete. You are not even reading these words. Unless you're my mum. Hi mum. 6. A robot that hits children on the head if they don't listen in class Computopia (1969) via Pinktentacle.com What they predicted: A robot that hits children on the head if they don't listen in class. Why it didn't happen: Whilst our robotics are advanced enough, it turns out so too are our morals. Bummer. 7. Wrist computers Byte (1981) via archive.org What they predicted: Little computers that will sit on your wrist, like a watch. Why it didn't happen: You might be gaping and gawping that someone in 1981 successfully managed to predict the Apple Watch, but you'd be wrong. Take another look - see that tiny keyboard? No one could use that tiny keyboard. What were our ancestors thinking? Idiots. › Katy Perry just saved the Brits with a parody of Donald Trump and Theresa May Amelia Tait is a freelance journalist, and was previously the New Statesman's tech and digital culture writer. She tweets at @ameliargh Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month!