March 28, 2012

Corporate America's Great Tech-Utopia Movies

Harry McCracken, Time


AP Photo

The best way to predict the future, as Alan Kay famously said, is to invent it. For decades, however, well-known technology companies have tried an easier approach: filming it.

They’ve done so in the form of short movies featuring mocked-up versions of the wondrous technologies that will be everyday realities for the consumers of tomorrow. (Many of the tomorrows in question — 1960, 1976, 1986, 1999, 2o04 — have since come and gone.) These films tend to have a self-important feel, as if paying actors to pretend to interact with make-believe gadgets was a vital part of bringing said gadgets to market. Even though the companies that produced them have only rarely gone on to make the products they depict.

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TAGGED: technology

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