This 1993 Ad Predicted GPS, the iPad, and Movies on demand

One ad campaign from 1993 has proved itself to be incredibly predictive. The campaign, themed “You Will”, and produced for AT&T, predicted things like the iPad, GPS, videochattingm and more, all a decade before these things came into existance.

  • “Borrowed a book from thousands of miles away”. Just as on the touch display in the commercial, we can now rent a book straight from our mobile devices.
  • “Crossed the country without stopping for directions”.  GPS is now highly popularized.
  • “Sent someone a fax, from the beach”. They show a touchscreen device remarkably similar to the iPad. Digital fax apps now make it possible to do just that,
  • “Paid a toll, without slowing down”. By the late ’90s, electronic toll cards like E-Z Pass had been popularized, and this indeed became a reality.
  • “Bought concert tickets, from cash machines”. We never got there, but we’ve got Stubhub, Ticketmaster, Ebay, and automatic ticket machines which are just as good or better.
  • “tucked your baby in from a phone booth”. We do indeed have videochatting capabilities, though luckily we don’t have to do it from a phone booth.
  • “Opened doors, with the sound of your voice”. Systems exist, but they’re not very common because they’re simply not secure.
  • “Carried your medical history in your wallet”. With the prevolence of digital medical records, many now do carry their medical history in their pockets. Some even have implants in their arms with their full history.
  • “Attended a meeting in your bare feet”. Services like GoToMeeting popularized this long ago. Some multimillion dollar companies, like Copyblogger Media, don’t even have offices anymore. Their employees work from around the globe.
  • “Watched the movie you wanted to, the minute you wanted to”. Thanks to iTunes, Netflix, Youtube, and Chromecast, this is now a breeze.
  • “Learned special things from far away places”. Just as in this video, education is now accessible around the globe. Stanford University introduced the world’s first online high school a few years ago, which relies on Skype for the school experience.

Indeed, they were pretty darn close, if not perfect, in their estimations of what the world would be today. Maybe that’s how they ended up so successful with their cellular service. Check out AT&T’s surprising history.

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Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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