The iPad in 1988

Tue Nov 8, 2011

In 1988 students from the University of Illinois were tasked with imagining the computer of the year 2000. What they came up with was a tablet computer that bears a striking resemblance to the iPad. From the report:

Our machine will have the same dimensions as a standard notebook. It will look like an 8”x11” monolith from the movie 2001, and be reminiscent of the Dynabook. This rectangular slab will weigh but a few pounds, and have no buttons or knobs to play with. The front surface will be a touch-sensitive display screen and will blink to life upon touching two corners.

You can read the full report here.

This report is yet more proof that great ideas do not spontaneously strike like lightening. Rather, a “revolutionary” product is the culmination of decades of research, the overcoming of technological hurdles, and the courage to strike out from the pack. In this case, the tablet PC is a manifestation of a cultural perception of what such a device would look like. It is the moment when the fantastical becomes real. For example, the Star Trek communicator influencing the design of the flip-phone. Oh wait - flip phones are so 20th century.

Source: Paleofuture blog - an awesome blog for viewing the future that never was.



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