Remember when concepts were concepts and Back to the Future was a movie? No? Well you don’t know 1987 very well then 🙂
Apple had a concept of a doobrie called a “Knowledge Navigator” – I defer to the Wikipedia explanation at this point:
The Knowledge Navigator is a concept described by former Apple Computer CEO John Sculley in his 1987 book, Odyssey. It describes a device that can access a large networked database of hypertext information, and use software agents to assist searching for information.
Apple produced several concept videos showcasing the idea. All of them featured a tablet style computer with numerous advanced capabilities, including an excellent text-to-speech system with no hint of “computerese”, a gesture based interface reminiscent of the multitouch interface used on the iPhone and an equally powerful speech understanding system, allowing the user to converse with the system via an animated “butler” as the software agent.
All’s great at this point you might think? How very interesting you might say – but you need to consider a couple of things – firstly, it’s a frighteningly accurate prediction of where we are today with smartphones, and second, there were videos produced by Apple with a device mock-up – and they are awesome in their “conceptuality” – which I’m claiming that as a word 😉
Check out one of the wicked videos on YouTube here, and sit back for nearly 6 minutes of Apple conceptual joy!