In January 1989, Apple Computer established a project led by Marc Porat to
develop business opportunities beyond traditional personal computing. The team
examined how people will need to deal with the complexities of everyday life in
the coming century. Code-named Paradigm and Pocket Crystal, the project evolved
into a set of comprehensive plans, including products and services that would
require expertise in computing, communications, and consumer electronics. The
team envisioned the birth of a new industry: personal intelligent communications.
It became clear that no one company could deliver all the components of personal
intelligent communications. In early 1990, it was determined that the best way to
pursue the vision was to set up an independent corporation. The new concern would
be free to develop technologies and business relationships necessary to bring
personal intelligent communications to fruition.
General Magic was incorporated on May 1, 1990. The founders, Marc Porat, Andy
Hertzfeld, and Bill Atkinson, quickly attracted a diverse team of people with
extensive experience in the software and communication industries. By the end of
the year, the engineering team was making rapid progress in designing the
technological underpinnings of personal intelligent communications.
To make sure that these new technologies become woven into the fabric of everyday
life, General Magic sought to team up with companies that are known for changing
people's lives with new products and services.
In February 1991, Sony and Motorola joined Apple in becoming investors in General
Magic and licensees of its technology. AT&T joined the alliance in January of
1992, Philips in November of 1992, and Matsushita in January of 1993. In 1994,
Cable & Wireless, France Telecom, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, Nortel, NTT, Oki, Sanyo,
and Toshiba also joined the General Magic Alliance.
To expand the reach of personal intelligent communications, General Magic will
continue to invent and develop technologies, license Magic Cap and Telescript
technologies, and support a growing community of developers for its platforms.
- Develop advanced enabling technologies, products, and services that are
powerful and immensely useful, yet always personal and pliable.
- License General Magic technologies to standard-setting hardware manufacturers
and service providers that can bring the fruits of personal intelligent
communications to the general public.
- Unleash the creativity of others by providing platforms that enable a broad
range of developers and content providers to create new kinds of services,
communicating applications, and hardware products.
General Magic has created Magic Cap and Telescript technologies for personal
intelligent communication products and services.
Magic Cap Software Platform
The Magic Cap software platform is designed to help
people keep in touch by integrating electronic mail, fax, telephone, paging,
infrared beaming, and other methods of communicating. Magic Cap technology is
built into personal communicators and is available as a Windows(tm) software
application. It allows developers to build a new class of software and services
that is centered on communications and is easy for users to personalize.
Telescript Communication Technology
Telescript technology is an object-oriented
remote programming language that is designed to promote agent-based
communication. Telescript technology allows users to launch their electronic
agents into the world of electronic services and across diverse computer systems
to perform tasks for their owners. The Telescript platform can support a variety
of communicating applications: agents are capable of carrying out numerous
functions, from sorting and organizing electronic correspondence to shopping for
goods and services.
General Magic creates products and services that help people in basic ways:
- To communicate. Humans are social animals. We need to establish and maintain
relationships with family, friends, business associates, and institutions. We
meet those needs through participating in meetings, making phone calls, and
writing messages, among other things. General Magic strives to simplify
communication without losing the personal touch.
- To remember. Each of us is consumed by a swirl of personal and intimate
information that matters a great deal and defines the agenda of our lives. We want
to keep track of things to do, places to be, and facts and figures in ways that
make sense to us.
- To know. We need to know everyday things about the world--what time the
movie starts, how to get to a restaurant, which flight is available--we want
convenient ways of finding out what we need when we need it.
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