AT&T Predicts the Future with Amazing Accuracy ... Almost
Tuesday/September/22 2009 Filed in: Science / Technology
Foretelling the future isn't easy and most people who try get it wrong.
Sci-fi novels and movies promised us rocket cars, jet packs, ray guns and time travel. We're still waiting for delivery.
But some people who envisioned tomorrow put some thought into it. The video clip below is from a 1967 documentary exploring future possibilities. The technology shown may look a little clunky today, but the clip clearly hints at the basics of eBay, online banking and email.
Hey, isn't that Wink Martindale?
That's all well and good for a documentary but -- in the mid 1990's -- AT&T put its reputation on the line by running a series of TV ads that challenged viewers to imagine the many ways future technologies would influence and guide our everyday lives.
The Tom Selleck voiceover suggests that we close our eyes and contemplate the shape of things to come. What's astounding is just how spot-on this version of the near-future was. Uncannily, AT&T nailed almost every prediction with the exceptiion of one extremely important one. Can you guess which one that is?
(You may see a blank screen below. Just click the arrow to play)
From over 15 years back, AT&T was right on the money for Google Books, Garmin GPS, iSight Video-Conferencing, Video-on-Demand and iPass Toll Collection, to name a few.
But the tagline was where they tripped up - "...the company that'll bring it to you? AT&T."
AT&T may have indeed been involved in the technological development of some of these wonders but it sure didn't get any of the credit.
Arguably, the most innovative phone so far is the iPhone, brought to you not by AT&T but rather by Apple. Of course the iPhone did launch with AT&T as the exclusive carrier, but that isn't quite the same thing, is it?
Ironically, one of the predictions that didn't pan out was the woman (yes, that's the stunning Jenna Elfman) checking on her baby from a phone booth. A phone booth?
When's the last time you saw one of them?