Newspaper thinktank predicted the iPad in 1994

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Newspaper thinktank predicted the iPad in 1994
Newspaper thinktank predicted the iPad in 1994

It's not often (well, ever) that I consider the possibility someone might be from the future, but maybe Roger Fidler was. In 2007 the Paleofuture blog pointed to the video below, where Fidler and his team at Knight-Ridder describe an electronic newspaper running on what might as well be an iPad... except that the video was made way back in 1994.

Most futurists are off the mark, or make forecasts for technologies that are so far off in the future, you'll never know if they are right, but the Knight-Ridder team's predictions for the "electronic tablet" were just eerie. Granted, they forecast it for the turn of the century -- and in their version of the future, people still wore collarless denim shirts -- but it's otherwise freakishly accurate.

"We may still use computers to create information, but we will use the tablet to interact with print, video and other information," the video explains. It also goes on to describe personal "profile pages," "interactive maps" and sharing links with friends. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. It even seems like Fidler is channeling Steve Jobs at some points, saying "Nobody needs a manual for their daily newspaper" and that tablet newspapers need to be kept simple. Amazingly, he even seems to describe iAds.

Of course, the Knight-Ridder tablet wasn't the first futurist's take on a pad-shaped newsreader, but at least this one doesn't also come with a neurotic killer computer in space.

If you were watching this video in 1994, you were watching 13 minutes of the future. Read on to see the clip. Bonus points to Fidler & co. for the classic PowerBook Duo, Newton and other Apple history in the background.

[via The Inquisitr; hat tip to Bronwen Clune]

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