Video Evidence: They Predicted the iPad Way Back in 1994

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“It may be difficult to conceptualize the idea of digital paper, but in fact, we believe that’s what’s going to happen,” says then Knight-Ridder director Roger Fidler in this eerily prescient video from way back in 1994. That’s over 16 years ago, in a world where Aol was still America Online and you had to use a screechy landline to sign onto 14.4k Internet.

Up until 2006, Knight-Ridder was the second largest newspaper publishing company in the United States, and in this newly dug up video, Fidler nails a lot of the key features and industry trends that gave way to the proliferation of tablets.

Here’s a key excerpt:

New forms [of human communications system] tend to take on many of the characteristics of older forms for a period of time. Over time, of course, they do evolve and take on their own characteristics. I believe the same thing will happen with our transition from ink on paper to digital forms of newspapers, magazines and books. But in the beginning, they will retain many of the familiar characteristics of print products today. And I think that’s absolutely essential; we don’t want to have to issue people manuals to read their newspaper.

On the money, right? Plus, look at their clothes.

Nowadays, Mr. Fidler works as the Director of Digital Publishing at the journalism institute of the University of Missouri.

(via Paleo Future)

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