The Biggest

In 1967, my family (Dad, Mom, and we four boys) loaded into the Plymouth Belvedere wagon and drove up to Montreal Canada pulling a camping trailer — that my Dad built.  We went to the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, or Expo 67.  It was a Worlds Fair-style gathering celebrating international cooperation (62 nations participating) and technology.

The tech of the day was massive arrangements of CRT tubes, each displaying a different segment of a much larger video presentation, giving the affect of huge electronic motion picture.  What was even cooler was the fact that coinciding displays could branch off with their own video, creating picture within picture.  It was amazing to see.  You say iMovie can do that?

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I just got off of American Airlines flight 1975 at the O’Hare airport, after enjoying a delicious 3 1/2 inch barbecue chicken pizza in first class.  Walking down the concourse, I happened to glance back at the place where the H and K concourses split to see the largest touch-sensitive LCD screen I’ve ever — seen (see right). 

There is an arrangement of rectangular boxes, each labeled with category of news.  You walk up, touch the category of choice (news) and stand back as you receive a number of pages of videos.  I got to watch Jon Voigh bad-mouth Barrack.  You can touch pause, fast forward, rewind, stop, and select another video.

Granted, there are large portions of the screen that can’t be touched without a step ladder.  But even more — is this really such a huge advance over the multiple-CRTs I saw 42 years ago? 

What’s advanced… what’s changed… what’s disrupted… is what’s happening behind the screens.

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3 thoughts on “The Biggest”

  1. Interactivity WAS evident at the Montreal Expo. The audience could vote on actions to take place in the movie, with multiple branching storylines to choose from, decided by voting from the seats! Predated the Scholastic TwistaPlot stories of the 80’s (on 5 and a quarter floppies!) We are still heading for that… interacting with video gaming is similar but of course much more complex! Soon our soap operas will allow the audience to determine the path of action!

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