AT&T brings you fairy magic and the future (1913-1993)



Okay so, confession: these are from 1993-94 but I saw it and just couldn't wait until next year to post it.

I love how almost everything is a little bit right but also totally wrong. Some day you'll have an EZ-Pass that makes you swipe your credit card in the car every time you use it. And an iPad that sends a fax from the beach. And you'll use Skype at a pay phone.
I can look at that pay phone and remember the exact physical sensations involved--the feel of the plastic on your ear, the weird textures (and sounds) of that covered cable, the way it feels to put your finger in the coin drop. Can't remember the last time I used one--I've had a cell for almost a decade now!

Those AT&T ads: holy crap, a lot of that stuff is actually happening, especially with stuff like Skype.

On New Year's this last year a bunch of us rode our bicycles to some cabins about 40 miles away. We were goofing off around a campfire when we realized someone didn't get our Trogdor references--so someone whipped out their smartphone and the next thing you know, we were watching the old Trogdor cartoon. WE LIVE IN THE FUTURE.
Maybe I'm just weird, but I've always thought payphones were pretty cool the way they're all armored and heavy duty. Shoot, I actually own a retired and refurbished one. It's touch tone, though. I'd love to have a rotary one.

Let's see...I have an iPad, although I tend to use it to email from BART rather than fax from the beach. I drive a Prius, which has a built-in GPS and just enough buttons on the steering wheel to make me feel like I'm driving Speed Racer's Mach 5. I buy theatre tickets from a "cash machine" at my local movie theatre. I participate in WebEx (and similar) web conferences. Telemedicine and telelearning are both realities, although not quite as slick as what's pictured.

Yeah, most of the stuff in these commercials has come true in one form or another. (Ditto the comment on the EZ-pass. The reality - a control-less transponder that requires no interaction at all -- is far less visually appealing than what's depicted, but far more practical.)

Very, very cool.
It's amazing to watch these and think how some of them are indeed a reality now...especially the EZ-Pass, Skype, the iPad, even the personal assistant (aka Siri). We've become so used to technology, but just 20 years ago these things were only an idea. How far we've come in such a short time!
The 1971 ad is poorly written, with comma errors. And sentence fragments.

Single-sentence paragraphs also make it choppy.

And since they no longer have to bother with pay phones, maybe they can get to work on making those magic tents. I want one!
I've got to figure out a way to include Prince Ahmed's magic tent into my conversation somehow.....