Flashback Friday: Futurists in 1994 Predict Tablets

by Sean P. Aune | April 29, 2011

Flashback FridayWith the closure of Google Video, people were scrubbing the site for videos that might be lost to eternity when this little gem from 1994 turned up. Some have called it fake because of how nearly pinpoint accurate it was, but our feeling is it’s the real deal.

Apparently back in 1994 the print company Knight Ridder, now defunct, was trying to look ahead into the world of publishing and looked heavily at the concept of tablets.  Even back then there was talk of such a device, although technology was nowhere close to producing one as of yet.  The futurists and technologists tried to predict what the device would look like and do, and boy did they get close.

You have to ignore the stylus that you see being used, but beyond that they were pretty dead on with how such a device would function in terms of consuming and sharing news.  While we have pretty much gotten away with the truly traditional newspaper format, and ads are laid out very differently, the basic concepts are pretty close.

It’s interesting when you look at this video, and the 1960’s video about phones of the 1990’s from a few weeks ago and you see how futurists got more and more accurate about what was to come.  If you go back to the 1950’s and earlier and you see that they were off the marks by insanely large margins.  Just look back at the Clothes of 2000 we ran months ago to see how far off they could be.

Fake or not (I really think it isn’t fake), this is still an interesting video to look at.  And if it is a viral, good job on an insane amount of work.

What do you think?  Is this video the real deal?  Were they this on the mark back then to tablets?


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Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...