Gina Hutchings from The IT Marketing Agency looks back at Tomorrow’s World and explores how consumer tech TV shows have changed over the years.
I was delighted to attend the CompTIA EMEA Partner and Member meet on in London earlier this month.
One of the highlights was the presentation by renowned Maggie Philbin, known from Tomorrow’s World, the iconic science and technology TV show.
The audience went wild when Maggie took to the stage with anecdotes of her time presenting the show from 1985 to 1994. She was one of the first to pioneer the mobile telephone, which cost a whopping £3,000 at the time.
Tomorrow’s World finished recording in 2002 – much to the disappointment of its many fans.
"I really wish I had been given a fiver for the number of people who have said ‘why isn’t Tomorrow’s World on now?’," commented Philbin at the launch of a report by the UK Digital Skills Task Force.
I was pretty amazed at the number of people requesting a return of the programme. When Tomorrow’s World filming came to an end, I was approaching my 21st birthday, fresh out of university and raring to meet my new employer.
Maggie Philbin presenting Tomorrow’s World back in 1989
I was writing my CV and emailing it via my brand new Mac, while listening to my iTunes selection on my iPod and texting my mum that I will be getting a job… soon.
If Tomorrow’s World was to return, it would have some stiff competition with the internet and social media. Younger TV viewers already know the new technology before it’s released.
Something like Channel 5’s Gadget Show – a short weekly reviews round up of the latest apps and gadgets available on the High Street – is much more up my street. The show is billed as ‘Top Gear meets Tomorrow’s World’. Technology is reviewed to see whether it’s worth the money, and if it is actually any good.
Today, we are the judges of the technology. We are not told what the future looks like, but actively shape it with viewer input and requests.
From the 1960s to the 1980s technology like computers and mobiles were not widely available. The TV audience was delighted to see a new advancing world of technology on their screens. Whereas now, technology helps us run our lives, it’s attainable, used daily and led by consumers. The latest iPhone, Apple TV and Surface are all consumer driven.
My view is that those who want Tomorrow’s World to return are the older generation looking to close a gap between them and their younger offspring, who are nostalgic for the days when they were at the forefront of technology.
We can in fact learn so much more from those born into the noughties.
We don’t need to go back to the future – we are already there.
Gina Hutchings is a marketing manager at The IT Marketing Agency