I love coming across videos from the 1980s and 1990s produced by companies foreshadowing what they thought the technology of the future would be like. It’s always exciting to use hindsight to analyze how right or wrong people were in their predictions.
Up until now, the best example of this retrospective futuristic nostalgia that I had seen was AT&T’s “You Will” ad campaign from 1993. But this weekend, I stumbled across a 1995 video from Apple that lasts a little over six minutes. The “Power to be your best” video largely appears to be aimed at educators, showing the myriad ways Apple planned to produce tools that could be used in the educational process, making it easier for students to communicate with teachers and peers around the world, making producing elegant presentations more efficient, and democratizing information to make research much easier.
When you see the video, you can’t help but think of several Apple technologies that came to fruition, notably Facetime, the iPad, and the iPhone.
The fact that the people in the video are using a stylus with their devices notwithstanding, Apple had quite a bit of foresight in this 1995 video. At one point, the narrator makes a key observation, saying that the innovations of tomorrow will be fueled by technologies that are already available today. I think in hindsight, that turned out to be pretty true, at least in the context of what was presented in this particular video, but it leaves one wondering what technologies will exist in 2029 (17 years from now, just like 1995 was 17 years ago) that we can foreshadow today.
Seeing videos like this from Apple and the AT&T videos really can cause one to give pause and really understand how far we’ve advanced as a tech-using society. To imagine how far we will progress in the next 20 years is exponentially more exciting.