Video Of The iSlate In 1994: Yes 1994!

I get all sorts of grief from people for advocating digital books over the eCrap ePub eInk eBook model of today.

Maybe this video will get them to STFU. It’s from 1994 and shows not only an iSlate-like tablet, but a fully digital newspaper.

Mind you, there are flaws here. But I’m astonished at the breadth of the vision.

I can’t think that Knight-Ridder is pleased to have this video surface. What the hell did you do with all that talent and vision you hired, KR? Nothing!

— thanks to @wmacphail via Twitter

8 Responses to Video Of The iSlate In 1994: Yes 1994!

  1. Nic Boshart says:

    Wow, 1994! This is amazing, and kind of angering when you think of the high prices people are paying for garbage tech.

    Great find!

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mikecane: NEW POST: Video Of The iSlate In 1994: Yes 1994! http://tinyurl.com/yjccruh @jafurtado @mathewi @jeffjarvis @jane_l tx @wmacphail…

  3. Brandon says:

    This reminds me of Bonnier R&Ds concept of what a digital magazine should be able to do (http://vimeo.com/8217311). What irks me most is that that video was released last month and these Knight-Ridder folks made theirs nearly 16 years ago.

    If I wasn’t already convinced before, Mike, then I am now. I want more than just dead text in my e-reader, thank you very much.

  4. iphonerulez says:

    Terrific video. Apple now has everything in place for publishers. All the publishers have to do is give it a go sign. This vision of paper to digital honestly seems so natural at this point in time. I don’t see how the tablet can fail unless there is some active force that is going to prevent it from happening. This video is from 1994 so I don’t think they could have built a decent tablet like the one shown at that particular time. Now they can.

    OK, it will cost more than $600, but that’s the breaks. I’m willing to pay in the MacBook price range if it can deliver the content as envisioned. Maybe the tech-heads might have reservations, but I know people that would give their nuts for this type of technology if it works properly. Put a dozen Apple tablets in Apple retail stores for people to play with and I guarantee they won’t want to walk out without one.

    The tablet will practically eliminate those unionized printing press guys and fast-driving paper delivery guys. The unions won’t be too happy about that. The typesetters and layout people will need to be slightly retrained. I don’t see why the average consumer would be against using tablets other than the initial high cost of a tablet. Prices should drop as the number of users increase. A family wouldn’t be able to share the Sunday newspaper on one tablet so you’d need to have multiple tablets at home.

    It was nice to see that there were open-minded people back then that had a vision. That guy that was for changing things to digital publishing was probably kicked out and considered some radical or nut case. Or some union mob guys made him disappear.

    C’mon Steve, show these dead-head, naysaying pricks the way to publishing nirvana.

  5. Jason Black says:

    Well, Knight-Ridder wouldn’t be the first company to “fumble the future” like that. Xerox, back in the 70s, had a famous research lab that could have resulted in Xerox usurping Microsoft, Apple, and IBM all in one fell swoop. But, the executives just didn’t get it. My guess: future-phobia or simple inability to imagine what the researchers were imagining is why KR dropped the ball here.

    And BTW, there’s an excellent book on how Xerox similarly screwed itself over called, no coincidence, “Fumbling the Future.” Well worth a read if you’re into this kind of history of technology stuff.

    • mikecane says:

      While the STAR was way ahead of its time, it was more like a Microsoft product than an Apple product. Xerox has a long list of failures even in public.

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