Check out these retro IBM ads for their research on wearable computing, made to “rev up interest among stateside business types,” according to Wired:
In the late ’90s, IBM’s research arm developed something dubbed “the Wearable,” a portable machine with a 1.5-inch etched glass display. Only one was built, and it was so delicate, it had to be handled with gloves. In 1997, the tech giant commissioned a futuristic short film that showcased the gizmo—and its much bigger, clunkier predecessors (see video above). Some of them look an awful lot like the Rift.
Packed into a Walkman-sized container, the brain of the Wearable—the actual computer—only sort of worked, which probably is why we don’t see it do much in the video. “It was supposed to be voice-controlled, but in fact, there was a mouse stick on the computer which hung off of your hip,” says John Allen, whose company, Possible Pictures produced the ad. “It was very primitive.”
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