Tech predictions from 1993: Video phones, tablets and hovercars

Be happy you didn't live in the AT&T "world of 2003"

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AT&T was always pretty good at making videos and commercials showing us the "world of tomorrow" - for example, its "You Will" ad campaigns of the early '90s predicted things like on-demand cable TV services, videoconferencing from the beach, and other such techno-marvels that we now take for granted.

But in this video, released today by the AT&T TechChannel from its archives, they really got some things wrong. Check out the first "skit" in the hour-long "Live from Bell Labs (1993)" show, in which we visit the world of 2003. The skit opens in a futuristic barbershop, where a teen-ager learns that his high school is about to get a new worm mascot, courtesy of a local billionaire who is donating money to the school. With the teen's super-technology, he rallies his fellow students through group emails, faxes and his video wristwatch (oy!) to petition the school board to not approve the mascot.

Maybe I'm being a bit too harsh here, especially on the technology side. The billionaire (played by actor Michael Jeter, who most parents of toddlers will recognize as Sesame Street's Mr. Noodle) did use a mobile phone with a color screen (unheard of back in 1993), and the girl designing the new mascot logo used a very cool iPad-like device.

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