By Steve Fulton
In 1982, during the halcyon days of the original Atari, Bob Stein worked with pioneering computer scientist Alan Kaye in the Atari Advanced Research Labs. One of their projects was to imagine the future of encyclopedias. In a set of incredible images from 30 years ago, Stein just posted a few days ago, The Atari Advanced Research Labs proposed what the future might look like. In many ways, they were spot-on. My favorite is included above. It shows digitally tricked-out, a 3rd grade classroom that resembles my wife’s current 4th classroom so much, it’s astounding.
Here is something to think about this: What would have happened if Atari had not melted down in December 1982, but instead had continued through the 80’s and 90’s as a top R&D and electronics firm? Would they be like Sony or Microsoft today?
It’s also very interesting to note that Alan Kaye commented on the post yesterday by saying this:
“People reading this should realize that there was nothing new to be thought up to make these scenarios (they were for Warner execs who were not sophisticated about computers despite having bought Atari).
The ideas were all drawn (pretty much without exception) from the visions and demonstrations of the ARPA-IPTO research community in the 1960s, ca 1968. Main sources were Licklider, Taylor, Doug Engelbart, Nicholas Negroponte, Ivan Sutherland, Seymour Papert, some of my ideas back then (such as the wireless tablet computer), and many others from our colleagues.”
Of course, what Mr. Kaye misses is the fact that everything has Atari symbols on it, that’s what makes it cool! 🙂
You can see and read the whole thing over here. It makes for fascinating reading and amazing viewing..