Friday, April 13, 2007

Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 4, 1993)

As in part 1 of Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future, part 4 gives us a look at a curious technology that not only translates what someone is saying over the picturephone, but also matches the movement of their mouth to the language being translated.




See also:
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 1, 1993)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 2, 1993)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 3, 1993)
Picturephone as the perpetual technology of the future
AT&T "You Will" (1993)

13 comments:

Aaron said...

I love these series of posts. Keep them coming!

MattyMatt said...

The incredibly distracting airplane movie continuing behind the "smart agent" and his functionless icons is HILARIOUS. I also like that he sounds just like HAL 9000.

Anonymous said...

Just visited your blog for the first time - Pretty nifty!. The title of your blog made me think of the Museum of Jurrasic Technology in LA (http://www.mjt.org/). The only way that I can describe the place is that it is a museum about elitest 19th-early 20th century museums and it has both real objects that are improbable (e.g. miniature mosaics made of butterfly scales) and probable objects that are totally fake (e.g. an alchemists working contraptions). Just my 2 cents. I got here via onegoodmove.org. Peace,
Doyle

JesseM said...

This one is a continuation of part 1, which featured the same woman and her fiancee using the same impossible insta-translation technology (how could the computer do it when word order in different languages is completely different? It'd have to know in advance what word you were about to choose!) The "smart agent" who appeared as a talking head cut off below the shoulders reminded me of a very dull version of Max Headroom...

ffmusicdj said...

That airport was Orlando International Airport

Anonymous said...

Haha. Globalization makes sense.

Were they serious about "intelligent agents" as a plausible future technology though??

Anonymous said...

This too isnt the future that never was. The only problem is that the phone booth isnt scrawed with graphitti and there aren't any muslims visible. Otherwise it's Msn a webcam and google translator.

pJ said...

The thing I'm most concerned about : is the dad going to finally come to terms with the fact his little girl is all grown up?

How does the story end?!??

Anonymous said...

The show continuing in the background reminds of a a world without TiVo. If the prediction had been closer to accurate, the show would have paused for the call, then resumed afterwards. Sweet retro-future!
ob1

Ben said...

I think we're all missing the most striking example of future technology here. "It's a Mountain Climbing Bear!"

Anonymous said...

I, for one, would have welcomed our new Mountain Climbing Bear overlords.

Anonymous said...

It is also interesting that AT&T didn't foresee the continued development of private cell phones - so people would have to wait and deplane and go to public phones to let someone know they'd landed.

henry said...

You are so right. We missed that. Remember, we were just out of the brick phone phase of mobile telephony, batteries had short lives and it would have cost several hundred dollars a month to use the phone the way we do today.