02.21.13

From Rocket Age panels to Wii U’s GamePad, the dream of watching TV conveniently is actualized

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 wasn’t so much about the Cold War, or a response to Solaris, or an answer to the question concerning the misuse of technology. To me, anyway, it was about interior design. To this day, I still dream of finding at an estate sale Dave’s podlike swivel chairs, which captured the shape the future was supposed to take, but never got there.

That’s why I couldn’t believe it when I stumbled on this video of a sleek, luxurious television control panel from 1967:

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Sadly, I doubt this bad boy was ever put into production, and I have my suspicions that it is all an elaborate rouse. For one, if you pay close attention to at the names of the two teams mentioned, the Woodmere Wasps and Stoneybrook Samurai, there’s no way they’re real.

Two, and this is my actual point, most of these ideas are just coming to fruition with the rise of tablets. And, in particular, Nintendo’s GamePad for Wii U, which lets you watch cable conveniently with it’s iPad-like controller. The part where Cronkite pulls up the game by tapping on the screen, that’s pretty much all the Wii U.

However, there are some things the amazing panel can do that the Wii U tablet just isn’t capable of, such as looking incredibly suave and retro-future in your den, or changing the tint of glass panels in a room. But there’s always hope for an epic redesign to make the Wii U pad much larger, something Nintendo has been known to do.