The iPad, Imagined by Steve Jobs in 1983

It’s a well known fact that Jobs was obsessed with simplifying the computer. From the Apple I, to the Lisa, to the Mac, and eventually to OS X, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad as his last master stroke, the vision is clear: simple is good.

With that in mind, it’s not hard to see how Jobs could have imagined a device that sounded very similar to the iPad all the way back in 1983. According to a presentation given by the man himself, that’s exactly what happened. However, this speech doesn’t just include the iPad: the general concept of both the internet and the App Store is alive and well in this speech. This speech, given in 1983 at the International Design Conference in Aspen, also highlights various other concepts that even the Apple of today is exploring, including voice recognition (Siri), how fast computers are, and how this makes them seem “like magic,” and how relatively new computers are, stating that society is only on its “first date” with computing technology.

Steve Jobs, even after multiple biographies, remains a cryptic man in death; one may interpret his actions as that of a prima donna, someone who has anger issues as well as a masterful manipulator. And yet, another may interpret him as being a true visionary, and one who brilliantly led a company to create the future he envisioned. With this latest piece of the puzzle, it’s clear that he was a visionary – these ideas, at the time, were radical. They weren’t the norm, and while he wasn’t necessarily the first (or only) to believe see and appreciate these concepts, it’s clear that Jobs had the ability, drive, and perseverance to actually create these products.


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