Thursday, May 10, 2007

Project 2000 - Apple Computer (1988)

[Update: The Paleo-Future blog has moved. You can read and comment on this entry here.]

In 1987 Apple Computer held a competition called Project 2000. Apple asked student research teams to submit papers detailing what the computing technology of the year 2000 would look like. In early 1988 Steve Wozniak, Alvin Toffler and Ray Bradbury, among others, sat on the judge's panel. The winning team was from the University of Illinois with their paper called Tablet: The Personal Computer of the Year 2000. Below is an excerpt and various images from the paper. You can read the paper in its entirety here.

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.

There is supposedly a 12-minute video called "Project 2000" floating around. I have yet to see it but would love to see if it's in the same vein as Apple's Knowledge Navigator from 1987.

See also:
Apple's Knowledge Navigator (1987)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (1993)


Kimota said...

I love that "doing homework while watching TV" graphic! What are all the images from? I get

#6: Max Headroom
#8: Father Guido Sarducci
#12: Legal Eagles
#16: Muhammed Ali?

Anonymous said...

#10 - Carrie at the prom?

Anonymous said...

#4 Three Amigos?

Unknown said...

The funny thing about these late 1980s-early 1990s concepts for tablet computers and PDAs was that they basically got almost everything right, except that today the ones that actually sell big are smaller than that and are called "cell phones" rather than "PDAs". From the perspective of a circa-1990 futurist it's the tail wagging the dog.

Stacia said...

I don't think #10 is Carrie, because the hair is feathered. It looks almost like a Miss America pageant though.

I swear #3 has Tammy Faye Bakker in it.

Anonymous said...

Actually, in the early 90s Apple almost... (two weeks to ramp up got cancelled) came out with a tablet that could have done much of what was described in Project 2000. It even ran a graphic calculator that shipped in some versions of Mac OS. This was before Palm and before Newton (well, about the same time but a different team). It might have changed the way PDAs turned out.

Anonymous said...

Don't look now, but I think #2 is Jeff Goldblum (watching you poop of course).