We continue with our review of some of the rarest prototypes that have come off the Apple design table . The vast majority if not all of them belong to the early 1990s before Steve Jobs’ return to the company, an event that has brought it to where it is today but has also made it tremendously closed and secretive.
If you liked TimeBand or the Knowledge Navigator, wait until you see what we have found searching in the prehistory of the Apple TV , no more and no less than these screens designed by Gavin Ivester. He was responsible for the Newton or the original design of the PowerBook during the 11 years he worked at Apple until 1992 in the position that Jonathan Ive would later occupy. Comparing these prototypes to today’s displays and televisions they come to nothing but eight years ago I would have liked to have one of these projectors in my living room.
Aimed at artists and advanced users of MacPaint we also find this system oriented to work without a keyboard that was in development during the early 90’s and that supported different configurations to adapt to the different profiles for which it could have been directed. Seeing so much cable today gives me a headache.
The LCD screen with counterweight of this strange computer makes it look like the work of art that any Roquefeler would have in his office just to show off. It seems that its authorship belongs to the well-known German industrial designer Richard Sapper and it can currently be seen inside his permanent exhibition at the MoMa, the Museum of Modern Art in New York (where they have an extensive collection of Apple products).
The Apple Paladin is a rare all-in-one prototype that combined a PowerBook Duo 230 computer with 160MB hard drive and OS 7.1 with a Stylewriter 1200 printer, the Apple Scanner and a fax machine. It never made it to the offices and small businesses it was designed for.
No wonder a square-looking flat screen like this never got off the ground. Even with the wireless keyboard, the screen frame is so overwhelming that it leaves no room for adjustment.
Apple’s Texas Ranger (nothing to do with Chuck Norris) is the result of a joint effort by the design studio RKS and Alan Kay (one of the developers of the Macintosh interface) to create a child-friendly computer with a CD player and touch screen using a stylus. The idea was to put one of these in every elementary school but in the end it didn’t work out.
As you can see, Apple has always liked niche markets and this is the only way to explain this combination of PDA and GPS aimed at cyclists. The idea is not entirely bad but… who really needs such a distraction when cycling in the middle of the road? It certainly doesn’t look too healthy.
More than a prototype, the Apple IIp or 2p was a loosely designed laptop concept that should have been developed in 1989 but never got off the ground. Perhaps it was because of yellow, not exactly the most popular color in the world.
15 Prototipos de Apple que puede que nunca hayas visto (Primera parte)
The screen itself was a tablet that you could connect to the desktop module to use it more comfortably with a keyboard. It had more storage capacity and different expansion options to improve communications or video functions.
And finally, the distant cousin of today’s iMac . A curved prototype desktop computer with a floppy disk drive on one side and a CD-ROM drive on the other that we can rotate without dragging the cables because the ports are on the pedestal. The flat screen can also be rotated and tilted independently and its frame includes a microphone, speakers and an infrared receiver transmitter that connects wirelessly with the keyboard with integrated trackpad.
Now that you’ve seen them all, which is your favourite? Would you like to see one in particular put on sale, or would you like to see its concept taken up again to do something new today?