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Forgotten time capsule discovered

Published: Monday, March 5 2012 9:16 a.m. MST

"Albert Olpin was a very visionary president," said Dr. David Pershing, current University of Utah president, unsurprised at Olpin's accurate predictions. "He actually did have a lot of things right."

When asked what he thought what life would be like in 2065, 53 years in the future, Pershing predicted technology would continue to progress and students then will be as unfamiliar with keyboards as students today are with punchcards.

"Interaction with the computing world will be completley verbal or even nonverbal," he said. "I think by then we will no longer be limited by computer speed."

Pershing predicted that paper money will be obsolete, flight could be transonic and most cars will be electric.

"I think that the energy supply will be much more based on solar," he said, explaining most cars could be electric.

Pershing predicted the University of Utah will continue to grow and adapt to educational needs.

"The University of Utah will have grown to 100,000 students in multiple campuses across the state," he said. "Graduate education will be more important than it is today. I think electronic education will be ubiquitous."

He also predicted the Utes would have won the Rose Bowl "at least five times" by 2065.

Dave Davis, president of the Utah Retail Association and Utah Food Association, said he found the predictions interesting.

"Some of the predictions were accurate, some maybe not so much," he said. "It's the nature of predictions."

Asked to mirror his 1959 counterpart with predictions of his own, Davis focused on how businesses would reach customers.

"No longer (will) we market to the masses," he said, explaining companies would target individuals and there will be "a market of one."

Davis said he predicts the ease of shopping and commerce will continue to improve and he expects even more growth in the function of mobile devices.

"Smartphones are going to become smarter and smarter," he said.

Rich Walje, president of Rocky Mountain Power, who read the predictions of his predecessor, also made some of his own about life in 2065.

"Electricity is going to be even more pervasive," he said, citing medicine and home entertainment as some of the areas that will use more electricity in the future.

"I think you'll soon see real-time 3-D hologram television in your house," he said. "Your home entertainment will be more immersive."

Walje said he believes there will be "wireless everything in your homes" and there will be major breakthroughs in the next 50 years with nuclear technology.

"I do think you're going to see breakthroughs in nuclear technology that makes it smaller and safe."

Predictions are free. But what of the bank account promised to the first child born in Utah in 2000?

Washington Federal, the bank that acquired First Federal Savings Bank in 1993, was on hand last week to make good on that 1959 promise.

Brinlee Millenia Shepard, now 12, was born at half a second past midnight on Jan. 1, 2000. The West Jordan girl was excited to find out about the time capsule when she received a phone call about it, her mother, Natalie Shepard, said. But they had no idea what would come next.

She was presented with a Washington Federal passbook savings account with $1,000 after calculating a 5 percent interest rate paid out since 1959 with daily compounding. The bank tacked on a few hundred more dollars and presented Brinlee with the money.

"That was totally unexpected," Natalie Shepard said. "We're going to start a savings account."

While her mother said the money will go toward Brinlee's education, the girl quickly offered "or my car" as another suggestion.

"You should share it," her 8-year-old brother Braxton suggested. "I don't have that much money."

To see Brinlee Shepard's surprise reaction to getting the savings account, and more on the time capsule, watch KSL 5 Monday evening.

E-mail: hschwarz@desnews.com

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