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MacRumors
Dec 28, 2012, 08:35 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/28/frog-designs-hartmut-esslinger-reveals-early-apple-designs-in-new-book/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/12/esslinger.jpgDesignboom (http://www.designboom.com/technology/hartmut-esslingers-early-apple-computer-and-tablet-designs/) (via The Verge (http://www.theverge.com/2012/12/27/3809730/hartmut-esslinger-early-apple-ii-and-mac-design-prototypes-revealed)) today got a hold of some photographs of early Apple computer designs from Hartmut Esslinger's new book, Design Forward.

Esslinger founded Frog Design, the company that Apple partnered with in the 1980s and '90s to come up with a design strategy. Frog Design was responsible for the Apple IIc, which led to the "Snow White" design language that persisted in Apple products through 1990.

This was the stylization that originally included off-white or platinum coloration, vertical and horizontal stripes for decoration, and a three-dimensional logo inlaid into the product case.

Frog Design also worked on several other prospective Apple products, which were never manufactured, including a telephone/tablet hybrid deemed the "Macphone," a simple, small-screened computer with a wireless mouse and keyboard, named the "Baby Mac," and a set of tall, space-aged computers called "Macintosh Studies."

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/12/macphone1.jpg
Macphone

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/12/babymac.jpg
Baby Mac

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/12/macintoshstudies1.jpg
Macintosh Studies
Designboom has a full range of pictures (http://www.designboom.com/technology/hartmut-esslingers-early-apple-computer-and-tablet-designs/) of 10 different conceptual product designs available, along with a few excerpts of text from the book.

Design Forward, Esslinger's Book will be released on January 16, 2013.

Article Link: Frog Design's Hartmut Esslinger Reveals Early Apple Designs in New Book (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/28/frog-designs-hartmut-esslinger-reveals-early-apple-designs-in-new-book/)



bushido
Dec 28, 2012, 08:46 AM
the baby mac looks cute ^^

kjs862
Dec 28, 2012, 08:48 AM
Some really nice designs!

Imac Sam
Dec 28, 2012, 08:59 AM
But are they thinner and lighter????

r2shyyou
Dec 28, 2012, 09:06 AM
http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/12/babymac.jpg

Baby Mac

the baby mac looks cute ^^

Agreed! Awesome looking little machine.

But are they thinner and lighter????

:rolleyes:

Drunken Master
Dec 28, 2012, 09:15 AM
Awesome!

I had seen photos of the Baby Mac before, but not the others.

The first iMac's face looks a lot like a colored, pinstriped version of the Baby Mac's face. That thing looks so cool.

A lot like the Dieter Rams Atelier TV set for Bruan.

http://www.applefritter.com/files/images//babymac-293_0.jpg

http://f.cl.ly/items/1Q123z3o1q0l0y3g2v3c/Screen%20Shot%202012-12-28%20at%2011.18.58%20PM.png

j.dstasio
Dec 28, 2012, 09:19 AM
Very cool!

Attonine
Dec 28, 2012, 09:35 AM
It's interesting to see that many ideas were present a long time ago. A phone, tablet, a small mac. Ideas that took up to another 20 years to become products. Really shows how definite Steve Jobs was in his ideas of what technology should be doing. It will be interesting in another 20 years to have a similar look at products Apple is working on now, are they still as forward thinking, is it possible to still be as forward thinking?

spb3
Dec 28, 2012, 09:50 AM
this guy looks like Lincoln.

troop231
Dec 28, 2012, 09:56 AM
this guy looks like Lincoln.

I think you may be on to something: :p

http://i.imgur.com/iUJlq.png

brianbobcat
Dec 28, 2012, 11:00 AM
...a simple, small-screened computer with a wireless mouse and keyboard, named the "Baby Mac,"...


I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

Oohara
Dec 28, 2012, 11:04 AM
Baby Mac is beautiful :O

Can't help but wonder how Macs would have looked today if they had actually released that thing. I would have bought in a second.

AQUADock
Dec 28, 2012, 11:12 AM
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

I don't think they would have been wireless if they were actually released.

troop231
Dec 28, 2012, 11:20 AM
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

It probably would've used Infrared technology like that used in TV remotes.

AQUADock
Dec 28, 2012, 11:27 AM
It probably would've used Infrared technology like that used in TV remotes.

Infrared would be too slow for a keyboard and mouse and would need them to be facing the computer directly.

GoCubsGo
Dec 28, 2012, 11:28 AM
That baby Mac is pretty awesome. I think the idea of IR tech sounds plausible for wireless.

Mactendo
Dec 28, 2012, 11:38 AM
Baby Mac looks like the first iMac! So it wasn't really a Johnny Ive creation, it was a frog design's legacy. Fantastic.
Designs look original and unusual but nice, and in 80s and 90s there were much more variation in design than in current Apple products.

madsh
Dec 28, 2012, 11:59 AM
Looks to me like all the designs are also shown in the book AppleDesign, The Work of the Apple Industrial Design Group. 1997
Using the word 'reweal' seems like a journalistic twist....

spacerays
Dec 28, 2012, 12:25 PM
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

RF like they still use in some logitech wireless mice with dongles?

likemyorbs
Dec 28, 2012, 12:41 PM
The Macphone would have been absolutely revolutionary in 1985. Too bad it never came to be. The people would have appreciated it.

macduke
Dec 28, 2012, 12:46 PM
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

Pretty sure I used a wireless RF mouse in the mid-90s. I remember being blown away, but it was pretty laggy, had to be pointed a certain way, and couldn't be more than about 12-18" from the receiver. So not practical. I imagine similar tech would be available in Apple's labs years beforeóbut deemed terrible to use.

curmudgeon32
Dec 28, 2012, 12:52 PM
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.
These are just mockups. One of the pictures just has the keyboard mocked up out of foam or paper or something.

baryon
Dec 28, 2012, 01:21 PM
Wow! The Baby Mac looks freaking awesome, even by today's standards! And the iPhone came a longggggg way :D

NewbieCanada
Dec 28, 2012, 02:08 PM
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

IBM's PCjr had an infrared wireless keyboard in 1984. While the design of the keyboard was much maligned, it connected nicely if the signal wasn't blocked. Interestingly, it would also connect through a wired connection, something that would be quite handy on modern wireless keyboards.

Jessica Lares
Dec 28, 2012, 02:26 PM
The Baby Mac is awesome. Love how the keyboard looks so modern.

La Porta
Dec 28, 2012, 02:41 PM
These pictures can all be found in the out-of-print book, AppleDesign.

calaverasgrande
Dec 28, 2012, 04:20 PM
I want to know what wireless technology they would've used for the mouse and keyboard all the way back then. It's not like wifi and Bluetooth were things yet, much less commonplace.

Well Tesla was doing wireless remote control of boats in the early 20th century. It's nothing new.
Though given the commodity hardware at the time of that design I would guess for IR over RF wireless.

ctdonath
Dec 28, 2012, 04:50 PM
But are they thinner and lighter????

That's the obvious intention, throttled by practical limits of the technology at the time. Heck, the first model shown is an embryonic iPhone!

Yamcha
Dec 28, 2012, 05:05 PM
Those designs look very modern, especially for that time..

Saladinos
Dec 28, 2012, 05:06 PM
These pictures can all be found in the out-of-print book, AppleDesign.

EDIT: Nope, not it.

spb3
Dec 28, 2012, 05:28 PM
I think you may be on to something: :p

Image (http://i.imgur.com/iUJlq.png)

bingo!! :o

La Porta
Dec 28, 2012, 05:49 PM
EDIT: Nope, not it.

Hm? The same machines are in there, I have the book myself.

Saladinos
Dec 28, 2012, 05:58 PM
Hm? The same machines are in there, I have the book myself.

Sorry - I thought I found a copy of the book but it turned out to be another one with the same name ("Apple Design"). This one (http://www.amazon.com/Apple-Design-Friedrich-von-Borries/dp/3775730117).

That book isn't the one you're referring to according to one Amazon.com review (which is what I meant by "Nope, not it"):

To be perfectly honest, I returned it the day I received it. I was thoroughly underwhelmed by this book.

What made an older book, AppleDesign, much better, was the numerous photographs of prototype products. This book lacked any insider access to prototypes, and therefore is composed of facts and images I am already familiar with. Why bother keeping this book? You can easily get the same information and images found in this book on Wikipedia.

MacDav
Dec 28, 2012, 08:22 PM
this guy looks like Lincoln.

Well...He looks the way Lincoln would have looked if Lincoln had dodged Booths bullet. (Older Lincoln) :)

Eric E. Schmidt
Dec 28, 2012, 11:22 PM
i knew i saw it on here earlier:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=16514923#post16514923

interesting story. i hope ive will give us a similar peek in the future.

saggsy
Dec 28, 2012, 11:40 PM
None of those devices would have been working prototypes. Frog Design would have purely been for concept output. Throw them at the apple engineers to see if they could actually build them (to a budget) and hence why we never actually saw them released at the time due to the lack of tech available - so, being that apple had contracted Frog to come up with concepts, apple therefore owned the concepts and sat on them until the tech was available in the late nineties, which also coincided with Jobs return where he decided to streamline the companies many models/options into the revolutionary line up that now resides.

saggsy

MacFly123
Dec 29, 2012, 01:56 AM
the baby mac looks cute ^^

Ya I hadn't seen that before. Looks very modern and minimal, especially for the time! Nice design :)

macs4nw
Dec 29, 2012, 03:12 AM
Image (http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/12/macphone1.jpg)

Image (http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/12/babymac.jpg)

Designboom has a full range of pictures (http://www.designboom.com/technology/hartmut-esslingers-early-apple-computer-and-tablet-designs/) of 10 different conceptual product designs available, along with a few excerpts of text from the book.

Design Forward, Esslinger's Book will be released on January 16, 2013.

Article Link: Frog Design's Hartmut Esslinger Reveals Early Apple Designs in New Book (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/28/frog-designs-hartmut-esslinger-reveals-early-apple-designs-in-new-book/)

In their day, these designs were so far ahead of their time! They still look functional as well as beautiful, by today's standards.

Mike MA
Dec 29, 2012, 06:33 AM
I don't see any preparation for VESA mounts :D

TC03
Dec 29, 2012, 09:50 AM
The baby Mac looks a lot like the 1999 iMac. Despite the size, I think the prototype looks even better! Though, in a world dominated by grey boxes the iMac did look refreshing.

76ShovelHead
Dec 29, 2012, 05:50 PM
Wow how cool. An early iPhone (MacPhone) and that Baby Mac would've been an awesome evolution of the original Mac Plus.

jm001
Dec 29, 2012, 08:56 PM
The baby Mac looks a lot like the 1999 iMac. Despite the size, I think the prototype looks even better! Though, in a world dominated by grey boxes the iMac did look refreshing.

Actually it really looks like the Apple //c's monitor with a slot loading media drive. Not even the first iMac had a slot loading drive (although it looks more like a 3.5" floppy drive). You could probably make one by getting a small LCD screen, mount it inside the case for the //c monitor and stick a mac mini inside it! The mini's bluetooth will take care of the wireless features.

calaverasgrande
Dec 30, 2012, 02:11 PM
I actually really like the Americana designs.
Whats up with the yellow disk drive?

somethingelsefl
Dec 30, 2012, 07:05 PM
It probably would've used Infrared technology like that used in TV remotes.

Not IR...it would have been wireless tech similar to the frequencies cordless phones run on. It's easy to forget that the first "wireless" mice weren't infrared (which often requires line-of-sight), but were instead 'wireless banded radio'.

Apple had chose to abandon wireless radio on most of their developments and instead opted for the current "WiFi" technology we see today (which back then was rare).

Lancer
Dec 31, 2012, 02:33 AM
Love some of those designs!

KdParker
Dec 31, 2012, 05:31 PM
that mac phone looks so useless. Glad they moved on from it.

A Hebrew
Dec 31, 2012, 11:36 PM
I think the iPhone would get jealous of the Mac Phone

macuser1232
Jan 1, 2013, 11:18 PM
I love the Macphone!

Macrolido
Jan 2, 2013, 11:48 AM
MacPhone looks really cool!

KdParker
Jan 3, 2013, 12:35 PM
Not sure I would call the Macintosh Studies a 'space age' design

AppleMacDudeG4
Jan 3, 2013, 03:51 PM
The Baby Mac looks like a very cool machine. I do have a question though. Does the Baby Mac needs to be changed from time to time?

Lunfai
Jan 3, 2013, 06:05 PM
The Baby Mac looks like a very cool machine. I do have a question though. Does the Baby Mac needs to be changed from time to time?

What do you mean, it's just a design. It's not written anywhere that they're functional.

Lil Chillbil
Jan 3, 2013, 09:05 PM
I think the baby mac would have been cool

Sottilde
Jan 29, 2013, 10:50 AM
The Baby Mac is very cool - notice the keyboard, Apple actually did end up making keyboards that looked very similar to that, many years later.

AppleMacDudeG4
Sep 21, 2013, 09:39 PM
What do you mean, it's just a design. It's not written anywhere that they're functional.

It was meant to be a joke as in if it was a real baby, sometimes babies poop and have to be changed.