The Tablet Computer That Looks Just Like An iPad
A tablet computer that looks remarkably like an iPad seems to spring up on a weekly basis. But
this device, also hailed as the future of home computing, was made 17 years ago.
Called The Tablet, it provided a glimpse into tomorrow's world that was incredibly accurate A
1994 promo film released by technology firm Knight-Ridder talks about 'taking today's
newspaper into the electronic age'.
Even more astounding, with the benefit of hindsight, of course, is the video's assertion that
consumers want a computer that doesn't come with a manual. Roger Fiddler, who founded
Knight-Ridder in 1992, talks of 'building a bridge of familiarity' with the public.
Nowadays, Apple has fulfilled that maxim - it is literally a case of turning an iPad on. Mr Fiddler
says in the video: 'All forms of media that we know today will be transformed in the next ten to
That prediction, made in the mid-1990s, has proved startlingly correct. The iPad was released to
phenomenal demand in 2010 - 16 years after Mr Fiddler introduced The Tablet.
Taking an introductory route, the video's voiceover says: 'It might be difficult to conceptualise
the idea of digital paper, but we think that's what's going to happen.'
The Tablet was created by a team of journalists, designers and researchers. It was never released,
and was instead developed to show the media industry what the future of news consumption
could hold. The voiceover promises: 'Tablets will be a whole new class of computer.
'They will weigh under 2lbs; they will be totally portable; they will have a clarity of screen
display comparable to ink on paper; they will be able to blend text, video, audio and graphics all
together; and they will be a part of our daily lives about the turn of the century.'
Apart from the weight - iPads weigh around 1.4lbs - the Tablet really was 16 years ahead of its