More than science fiction – How visions of the future from Germany 1900 are reality today

120 years ago, the German chocolate company Hildebrands produced a series of postcards with which they wanted to give their customers a glimpse into the future. Just in time for the Paris World Exhibition in 1900, they wanted to be perceived as an innovative and forward-looking company with this futuristic campaign.

On 12 cards, the hypteses of “Germany in the year 2000” were presented in a unique way and placed in the boxes of their most popular products. The people dressed in Victorian fashion may be a little far from reality, but some of the forecasts of the chocolate company are more than just a vision today, they are reality.


Live broadcast of a theater performance

Theater Live in the living room – a vision for the Germany 2000, which should make the way to the theater halls unnecessary. Live streams have become a huge success, especially since COVID-19, but to get even closer to the vision of the chocolate factory, one has to rather point out the possibilities of virtual reality. More and more theaters worldwide are using VR to bring their performances to the customers’ homes.


The mobile houses

The postcard gives a view of a whole block of houses, which is transported by a train across the city. Mobility and flexibility are more relevant in today’s world than they ever were before. No wonder that the way we live has also adapted to the mobile lifestyle. Even though we are not transporting a block of houses, the image of the Tiny Houses behind their owners’ cars is strongly reminiscent of Hildebrand’s vision.


Personal Airships

This vision of personal airships, with which people can move elegantly through the air, is not quite there yet, but more and more startups and corporations are working on “personal airships”. Flying cars and air cabs occupy the research departments of many companies more and more intensively and are increasingly becoming reality.


Predictive safety

Hildebrands imagined the future of the security industry with foresight. Using X-ray equipment, the police could foresee and stop crimes. Even though there are no devices to watch the criminals through the wall, the police use Big Data and artificial intelligence to predict criminal activity and thus prevent it at an early stage.



All Pictures: Hildebrand’s chocolate factory

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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