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    • joshcarter
      Josh Carter

      General Magic started life as an internal project at Apple called "Paradigm." This was pitched to Apple executives in late 1989/early 1990, and as part of that pitch, a book of concept art was created. I later found one of these books when General Magic's marketing department was throwing away some old boxes.

      The entire contents of the book are posted on my web site, and I'm attaching choice selections here.

      First up: a view of the hardware clearly shows a touchscreen device operable with pen and fingers, that's capable of messaging and taking photos. Note that this is a full 7 years before Philippe Kahn rigged up a camera/cell-phone combo in 1997.

    • joshcarter

      Next up: we see a user talking on the Paradigm device. This vision for integrated wireless voice and data predates the Danger Hiptop by 13 years, and the iPhone by 18 years.

    • joshcarter

      To put these concepts in context, this is what a state-of-the-art Macintosh looked like in 1990 (photo credit: Wikipedia). The IBM crowd, meanwhile, was just getting Windows 3.0.

    • joshcarter

      Finally, here’s further evidence of cellular phone and handheld computer converging into a single communicator, both for voice and data: "I call Dan to see if we can have lunch…. I look up a restaurant that has private booths. I make a reservation for 1:00." The calling, looking up, and reserving a table are presumably over wireless link, implied from earlier photos, plus the lack of wired phone connection in any illustrations. (Refer to the full book for more.)

      There's no question Paradigm/General Magic was way ahead of its time. (Too far ahead, unfortunately.)

    • yaypie

      This is amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm reading through the whole book on your website now with my jaw hanging open. That metal cover is something else.

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