5 Visions That Showed Nikola Tesla Was Before His Time

Wardenclyffe Tower was created by Nikola Tesla to show the feasibility of wireless power transmission.

(Image: © Wikimedia Commons)

Society owes too much to Nikola Tesla.

The Serbian-American scientist’s inventions resulted in the radios and power grids used today. During the period of his life, Tesla registered some 300 patents under his name, and traces of his inventions are available in many modern-day devices, including in a few unexpected places, such as for example remote-controlled boat toys and letter-shaped neon lights.

However, not most of Tesla’s futuristic visions found fruition. A few of the inventor’s most far-out and ambitious dreams went unrealized, such as for example his vision for the wireless transmission of energy. In other cases, what Tesla invented had not been practical enough to displace existing systems simply, like the bladeless steam turbine, or was dangerous to use too, like a steam-powered electric generator that had become referred to as the «earthquake machine,» after Tesla claimed an earthquake was due to the generator in NEW YORK in 1898. [Photos: Nikola Tesla’s Historic Lab at Wardenclyffe]

And there have been other occasions when Tesla’s ideas were just too revolutionary to fathom, or were so bizarre that these were ridiculed by other scientists. A few of Tesla’s theoretical inventions, like a «death ray» weapon and force field, existed only in science fiction.

However in the 71 years since Tesla’s death, a few of the eccentric inventor’s ideas attended to pass — the «mad scientist» may have been to something. This is a look at a few of Tesla’s most bizarre ideas that had some ties to reality.

The idea camera

Tesla may have considered inventing a machine to learn mental imagery and thoughts. In September 1933 Within an article published in the Kansas City Journal-Post, he told reporters about several projects he previously been focusing on, including a device that concerns «photographing of thought.»

«I be prepared to photograph thoughts,» Tesla said. «In 1893, while engaged using investigations, I became convinced a definite image formed in thought, by reflex action must, create a corresponding image on the retina, which could be read by the right apparatus…Now if it be true a thought reflects a graphic on the retina, it really is only question of illuminating the same property and taking photographs, and using the normal methods which can be found to project the image on a screen.

«If this is often done successfully, then the objects imagined by a person would be obviously reflected on the screen as they are formed, and in this manner every considered the individual could possibly be read. Our minds would then, indeed, end up like open books,» he continued.

Tesla’s plan never became possible, but researchers are studying vision and exploring the thought of mind-reading machines still. Today, scientists have created artificial retinas through advanced mathematical analyses of how real retinas convert images to electrical impulses to send up to the mind. In attempts at mind-reading, scientists are suffering from algorithms that may figure out how to interpret brain signals and reproduce a rough version of images «seen» in someone’s mind.

Livestreamed video

Tesla may experienced an excellent grasp of what it feels as though to view real-time streaming of video on modern-day laptops and smartphones. In a news clip published on Jan. 26, 1926, Tesla predicted that through the use of the principles of radio, future devices shall allow people to carry a little instrument in their pockets to see distant events, based on the Associated Press. [Creative Genius: The World’s Greatest Minds]

The futuristic idea was described within an interview published in today’s problem of Collier’s Weekly, where Tesla says, «We will have the ability to witness the inauguration of a president, the playing of a World’s Series baseball game, the havoc of an earthquake, or a battle as if we were present just.»

Wireless electricity

Possibly the greatest ambition of Tesla was his dream to wirelessly transmit energy across long distances, only using air as a medium. He demonstrated it was possible to light up lamps utilizing a method called inductive coupling wirelessly, but he wasn’t successful in creating a long-range system to broadcast energy.now

But, researchers have refined and developed several techniques that may have brought Tesla’s dream a few steps nearer to reality. The regions of exploration range between wireless charging of digital devices in the home to potential power supplies for space elevators. Still, there are several major barriers. Even working prototypes for the short-range wireless transmission of electricity show that engineers have quite a distance to go before these innovative techniques can replace existing systems and be trusted.

Connection with aliens?

In 1899, at that time Tesla spent in Colorado Springs, Colorado, tinkering with high-frequency electricity and wireless telegraphy, Tesla found peculiar radio signals on his instruments. The signals were believed by him were extraterrestrial in origin.

«The changes I noted were occurring periodically and with such a clear suggestion of number and order that these were not traceable to any cause recognized to me. I was familiar, of course, with such electrical disturbances as are made by sunlight, Aurora Borealis, and earth currents, and I was as sure as I possibly could be of any fact these variations were because of none of the causes,» Tesla wrote in Collier’s Weekly in 1901.

«The sensation is continually growing on me that I have been the first ever to hear the greeting of 1 planet to some other,» Tesla wrote.

The scientific community didn’t believe Tesla had made contact the aliens, but later, it had been suggested that he could have found cosmic radio waves, a phenomenon that had not been known at the proper time. Or, it is possible that Tesla’s sensitive instruments had received the air messages that Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi was transmitting from Europe.


In 1901, when focusing on creating trans-Atlantic radio, Tesla proposed what appears like a modern-day cellphone to his funder now, J.P. Morgan. The theory was to make a arrange for a «World Telegraphy System» which allows instant communication of news to individual handheld devices.

Tesla believed Morgan could generate income by manufacturing such receivers that may be utilized by anyone, and may grab voice messages or music played in distant places. According to W. Bernard Carlson, a historian at The University of Virginia, and writer of «Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age» (Princeton University Press, 2013), the scientist had envisioned cellphones, and his prediction was a harbinger of the buyer culture that could characterize the 21st century.

Email Bahar Gholipour . Follow LiveScience @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Originally published on Live Science .

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5 Visions That Showed Nikola Tesla Was Before His Time