December 9, 1968 Douglas Engelbart presented a demo of NLS (which stood for oNLine System), which can be summarised as a word processing system and a web system all in one.
After a few introductory statements, his opening remarks were (starting at 2:16 in the video below):
“If you in your office, you as a intellectual worker, where supplied with a computer display, baked up by a computer that was alive for you all day and that was instantly responsive to every action you have, how much value could you derive from that?”
Now, in 2009, we know the value of the personal computer and the Internet.
It is significant.
Now, picture a demo, hopefully not that far in the future, where someone is saying:
“If you where supplied with a system, that is low cost, environmentally friendly, virtually unbreakable, and able to form a wide variety of physical structures, that could perform many tasks.
What value could you derive from that?”
I presume it would be significant.
Youtube video of the mother of all demos, the phrase I quote starts at 2:16.