French 1947 film predicts modern technology addiction

People who use portable devices in a cafe and drive TV screens may sound like our reality, but these scenarios are sketches from a 1947 French film.

‘Télévision: Oeil de Demain’ or ‘Television: Eye of Tomorrow’ not only predicts a range of modern technologies, but also how people behave with the devices.

The four-minute clip shows people bumping into others while looking at a device while walking, reading reports of someone’s shoulder on a train, and a car accident from distracted driving.

The black and white film, released after World War II, is based on an essay by René Barjavel and produced by JK Raymond-Millet.

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'Télévision: Oeil de Demain' or 'Television: Eye of Tomorrow' not only predicts a range of modern technologies, but also how people behave with the devices.  The four-minute black and white film was released in 1947

‘Télévision: Oeil de Demain’ or ‘Television: Eye of Tomorrow’ not only predicts a range of modern technologies, but also how people behave with the devices. The four-minute black and white film was released in 1947

Although Barajavel did not correctly predict smartphones as they currently look, he has neglected the behavior of people with such devices.

The clip was released over 70 years ago and shows several people in a park with their eyes glued to what appears to be a smartphone.

The film sets the tone, saying that newspapers are being phased out because everyone has access to the information in the palm of their hand.

Then the camera moves to a small café in a bustling city, where a woman dressed in the fashion of the era, wearing a hat, sits alone at a table.

The camera moves to a small café in a bustling city, where a woman, dressed in time, with a hat on, sits alone at a table.  She seems lonely and takes a device from her handbag to pass the time

The camera moves to a small café in a bustling city, where a woman, dressed in time, with a hat on, sits alone at a table.  She seems lonely and takes a device from her handbag to pass the time

The camera moves to a small café in a bustling city, where a woman, dressed in time, with a hat on, sits alone at a table. She seems lonely and takes a device from her handbag to pass the time

Another scene shows a woman looking over his shoulder at a man's device as the two ride the train.  While the small, portable devices are more like televisions, they mirror today's smartphones that are in the pockets of almost every person

Another scene shows a woman looking over his shoulder at a man's device as the two ride the train.  While the small, portable devices are more like televisions, they mirror today's smartphones that are in the pockets of almost every person

Another scene shows a woman looking over his shoulder at a man’s device as the two ride the train. While the small, portable devices are more like televisions, they mirror today’s smartphones that are in the pockets of almost every person

She seems lonely and takes a device from her handbag to pass the time.

Another scene shows two men bumping into each other looking down on a device.

And another person is so distracted by a video on a small screen, he walks into traffic and blocks a car on the street.

While the small, portable devices are more like televisions, they mirror today’s smartphones that are in the pockets of almost every person.

But the ones used in the movie have long retractable antennas that look like the first mobile phones.

The film is set in a park somewhere in France

The film is set in a park somewhere in France

The film is set in a park somewhere in France

Another scene shows two men bumping into each other looking down on a device.  And another person is so distracted by a movie on a small screen, he walks away in traffic and blocks a car on the street

Another scene shows two men bumping into each other looking down on a device.  And another person is so distracted by a movie on a small screen, he walks away in traffic and blocks a car on the street

Another scene shows two men bumping into each other looking down on a device. And another person is so distracted by a movie on a small screen, he walks away in traffic and blocks a car on the street

The movie also features a segment of a car driving down a windy road, while a movie is played on a screen to the right of the driver.  The driver looks away from the road every few seconds to watch the movie and is unaware of a dangerous corner ahead - he bumps into the forest

The movie also features a segment of a car driving down a windy road, while a movie is played on a screen to the right of the driver.  The driver looks away from the road every few seconds to watch the movie and is unaware of a dangerous corner ahead - he bumps into the forest

The movie also features a segment of a car driving down a windy road, while a movie is played on a screen to the right of the driver. The driver looks away from the road every few seconds to watch the movie and is unaware of a dangerous corner ahead – he bumps into the forest

The movie also features a segment of a car driving down a windy road, while a movie is played on a screen to the right of the driver.

The driver looks away from the road every few seconds to watch the movie and is unaware of a dangerous corner ahead – he eventually crashes into the forest.

At the end of the film, viewers are transported to a couple’s bedroom where a man has trouble sleeping.

He seems to evoke a holography of a dancing woman that appears on the bottom of the bed and looks at it while his wife is sleeping next to him.

At the end of the film, viewers are transported to a couple's bedroom where a man has trouble sleeping.  He seems to be 'shouting' a holography of a dancing woman who appears on the bottom of the bed and looks at it while his wife is sleeping next to him

At the end of the film, viewers are transported to a couple's bedroom where a man has trouble sleeping.  He seems to be 'shouting' a holography of a dancing woman who appears on the bottom of the bed and looks at it while his wife is sleeping next to him

At the end of the film, viewers are transported to a couple’s bedroom where a man has trouble sleeping. He seems to be ‘shouting’ a holography of a dancing woman who appears on the bottom of the bed and looks at it while his wife is sleeping next to him

Anne-Katrin Weber, a television historian at the University of Lausanne, said: “Although Raymond-Millet’s work is virtually forgotten today, his Télévision: Oeil de demain has received some attention on blogs and internet forums, where the film has been praised for” predicting our present ‘since it shows as a commentator put it, that’ smartphones existed 60 years ago ‘.

Indeed, sketching the film about its upcoming use on television seems to be a fairly accurate prediction of contemporary digital media with regard to the flexibility and hybridity of media technologies and their different forms of consumption.

“In addition, the ubiquitous availability and accessibility of television communications promised in the film accurately depicts our own daily media use.”

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