For me, this was one of the first crowd-sourced music videos to really work. Coxon and Doff posted their music track on the web, calling for video-clips of steps to be sent in, and offering signed albums and tour tickets as an incentive. The submitted video-clips were assembled and composited by Doff and Coxon in a montaged video-cubist style promo video, featuring clips from 85 people in over 20 countries.
A classic example of the ‘virtual prototype’ – the convincing illustration of a concept – in this case Apple CEO John Sculley’s 1990 vision of the future of computing. A future informed by Sculley’s Apple Technology Group colleagues of the time: Bill Atkinson, Alan Kay, Brenda Laurel, Glorianna Davenport… It was a vision that has not yet been realised (though we are getting close). The idea of personified intelligent agents able to act on our behalf was a popular theme at the time – see also Dougllas Adams’ Hyperland video. But Apple’s 2013 Siri – the current version of the Personal Digital Assistant (or smart software agent), while not an animated, personified character,is getting better. And 30 years of developments in AI since the Knowledge Navigator are beginning to show. Sculley and Mitsch’s virtual prototype remains a powerful vision of the future as seen from 1991, and is as seminal as Alan Kay’s 1968 vision of the Dynabook.