Magazine article American Banker

Shades of Dick Tracy! High Tech Expert Sees Wristband Videotex in 25 Years: Predicts Cellular Telephones Will Evolve into Computer Work Stations

Magazine article American Banker

Shades of Dick Tracy! High Tech Expert Sees Wristband Videotex in 25 Years: Predicts Cellular Telephones Will Evolve into Computer Work Stations

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- An information processing analyst said Monday that videotex will be run on wristband terminals using voice recognition within 25 years.

David Stein, a partner in the Los Angeles high technology venture capital firm of Julian, Cole & Stein, made the prediction in the keynote address at the opening of the Videotex Industry Association professional membership meeting.

Videotex is the two-way transmission of text and graphics to and from a screen in home or office. Home banking is a videotex service.

Noting the changes in the telephone in the past five years, Mr. Stein said that only in the next five will the public see real innovations.

He cited mobile cellular telephony, phones in airplanes, and portable phones that can be carried to the poolside.

"These are just the humble beginnings," Mr. Stein said.

"The bottom line is that the telephone is going to evolve into the Dick Tracy wrist radio. But it will have a small screen, be supported by a cellular mobile system, be able to recognize your voice, and have enough intelligence to replace your personal computer. It will happen in the next 25 years.

"Now, if you believe that for half a nanosecond, ask yourself what will happen to videotex. It will be mobile, too. You will wear it around your wrist, or around your neck as jewelry."

Mr. Stein said that the Japanese already have built color television and citizens band radio on a wristband.

"The telephone is going to evolve into an intelligent work station and an intelligent terminal," he said.

The Videotex Industry Association is based in Rosslyn, Va., and numbers 170 member organizations. They include banks, equipment manufacturers, telecommunications companies, cable operators, newspapers, broadcasters, retailers, advertising agencies, and others.

Crime Stoppers

A special forum during the meeting was devoted to the problem of unauthorized access to videotex systems. Peter Waal, vice president for marketing for GTE Telenet Communications Corp., said his company estimated that the problem cost the videotex industry $3 billion in 1982, including actual losses and the expense of protective measures. And he said that the problem is growing as the videotex industry grows. …

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