Forbes (kinda, sorta) predicted the iPad in 2000

A Forbes Magazine article from 2000 called "Introducing the Computer of 2010" is as interesting for what it got right as for what it got wrong. Today's computer, said Forbes, would be Frisbee-sized and have a "virtual keyboard."

There are plenty of incorrect predictions in the Forbes article, including:

"By plugging our computer into an office desk, its top becomes a gigantic computer screen—an interactive photonic display."


"The PC will be protected from theft, thanks to an advanced biometric scanner that can recognize your fingerprint."

"You'll communicate with the PC primarily with your voice, putting it truly at your beck and call."

"The PC of 2010 plugs into your home so your house becomes a smart operating system."

Not to mention the prediction that we'll be using holographic memory, and that a single lithium battery will be enough to run the computer of 2010 for "a couple of weeks" without recharging.


But there's also the stuff Forbes got right, like the idea that we'll have computers that are small and highly portable, and "untethered and unfettered by wires and electrical outlets." And the idea that you can create a "virtual keyboard" which disappears when you no longer need it. Plus the idea that hard drives will be a terabyte and up, which seemed like an unthinkably huge amount back in 2000. And the idea that this device could have a "liquid crystal display" screen with sharp colors, and we should "Get ready for pay-per-view Webcasts." (If you've watched Netflix Streaming on your iPad lately, then this won't seem too far off.)

All in all, the Forbes article is a bit too optimistic about the past decade's progress — but at least a significant minority of its predictions seem remarkably prescient. [Forbes]


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