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 15 years.' 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 time.
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