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Can AT&T predict the future of tech—again?

New video imagines a connected world and how it’ll take shape.


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Posted on Mar 16, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 7:24 am CDT


How will the world change when every person on the planet has access to a cell phone? What if every thing on Earth was connected to the Internet?  What will civilization 2.0 truly look like? These are just a few of the questions AT&T is looking to answer in its innovation series Upwardly Mobile.

 In 1993, the future was accurately predicted by an unlikely pundit: actor Tom Selleck. In a series of seven TV commercials—directed by David Fincher—Selleck and AT&T amazingly anticipated much of the technology we take for granted today. Ebooks. In-car navigation. Video on demand. 

Now 22 years later, AT&T is again imagining what tomorrow may hold. As part of the Mobile Movement campaign, AT&T has launched a video series on innovation that has architects, engineers, and others forecasting the future. The first episode of The Mobile Movement YouTube Channel from AT&T explores the idea of a connected world.

If highways that talk to cars sounds far-fetched today, what AT&T envisioned in 1993 was likely met with a fair bit of cynicism. After all, this was a time when people regularly used pagers and telephone booths.

Here are just a few of the innovations AT&T correctly anticipated: 

  • Tablet PCs

  • Digital assistants like Siri

  • Smart watches

  • Home automation

  • Voice recognition

  • Video calling

  • Video conferencing

  • Distance learning

  • Ticket kiosks

  • Electronic medical records

  • Telemedicine

  • Electronic toll collection

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Given the accuracy of these ads, AT&T may not be too far off in its assessment of the 2030s. So if you don’t want to wait 20 years to discover what life will be like, subscribe to the Mobile Movement YouTube channel today.

Screengrab via the the Mobile Movement/YouTube

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*First Published: Mar 16, 2015, 2:00 pm CDT