Back in 1993, AT&T ran a series of ads that started "Have you ever..." and then gave a scenario that seemed way out there for the times. For example, one ad showed a couple in a car getting turn-by-turn directions from some pre-historic GPS and navigation application, and asked if you ever went cross-country without asking for directions. Perhaps the most spine-tingling moment was when the ad asked if you have ever sent a fax from the beach and showed someone holding what could pass for a modern tablet (quick, call the patent attorney!). At the end of each ad, AT&T said that some day, you will do all of these crazy things that seemed like science fiction twenty years ago.
Other interesting things seen in the ads is a wireless, automatic toll collecting system which almost every major highway offers today. And while we don't buy concert tickets from an ATM machine, we can buy them from our smartphones and tablets. Remember, there was no Wi-Fi or streaming video back in 1993. Somethings though, never change. The ads are narrated by Tom Selleck who remains a big star on CBS' high rated cop show Blue Bloods.
These commercials have been around the web for a few years, and you might have seen them before. But honestly, prognostications like these deserve a second look.
Forget "Wi-Fi or streaming video", 1993 was the year Mosaic, the first browser that could display text and graphics on the same page, was introduced. Mosaic was years later the base for Netscape Navigator which was, even later, the base for Firefox. It would be amazing if they hit on 10 or 25 percent, but to get 100% right (except for one hardware miss, there are ticket kiosks bit no video phone booths) boggles the mind.
A side note, if AT&T had filed for patents, they would expire this year.
17.Stuntman(Posts: 836; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)
I remember watching these commercials 20 years ago. Many of these things have come true in one form or another, although not exactly the same way. Tolls are paid with transponders. Video calling is done on a variety of portable and mobile devices. I think it is pretty cool to see things that were envisioned years ago that came true today.