You're reading DVICE because we're all about the futuristic concepts and what's going to happen with technology down the road. In 1961, this hilariously doofy (by today's instant gratification standards), vision of the digital future from Bell/AT&T was the future.
You have to cut director Rober Wilmot and writer Jerome Alden some slack for this cheesy video. They had no idea how different the world would become once the microprocessor paved way for personal computers such as the Apple II, cellphones and now smartphones and tablets.
In 1961, the digital future sure looked like "A man talking to another man. Man to man. Man to Machine. Machine to machine."
Devices such as the Call Director, "fingertip access to information, ideas and decisions" were considered very advanced pieces of communication hardware. Today, we'd scoff at such a fancy "hold button" taking up so much desk space.
There's a handful of gadgets in this here flashback video that'll make you cringe. Imagine if the world ended up with those little beige boxes that notify you to "call in" or "call back" (the precursor to the pager) instead of cellphones. Boy would we still be carrying pocketfuls of quarters.
Even though the narrator admits some of the concepts were "out of this world" we have to say, they weren't too far off from today's technology. In the video below, a woman uses a video-phone concept to purchase a dress from Hong Kong and inserts her credit card into the machine to make a payment.
One could say that today's online shopping and combination of Square mobile payment system is virtually the same. And it only took 50 years to arrive at the future.
Watch, in another half a century, awesome ideas like Leap Motion's gesture control will look absolutely ridiculous as we walk around mind-controlling everything.