In 1987, Apple released this video of a future world in which something they were calling the Knowledge Navigator would link technology and users via an interface consisting of networked information, touch, and voice.

Eerily, the year Apple placed this future world was 2011, the year Apple would put Siri, its new voice-command system, into iOS products.

The video is hokey, but it’s clear that reality has actually exceeded these predictions in some ways — that is, the iPad is better than this prototype, the iPhone provides a mobile extension, and cellular phones make the phone call at the end seem like a vestige of the past.

It seems Apple underpredicted the future they’d make. Facetime, Siri, iCloud, iPhone, and other innovations have made this prediction of the future seem almost old-fashioned. And I’ll bet that Apple never anticipated that it would be worried about the effects of “the Amazon” in quite the way they are now.

I would still like the flying cars, moon cities, and immortality others predicted in the 1960s, however.

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Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.

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Discussion

1 Thought on "From 1987 to 2011 — Apple's Prototype Prediction Is Eerily Prescient"

Dear Apple,

Please add jetpacks to Mr. Anderson’s wish list above.

Much obliged,
GF

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