Company Backgrounder

Company History

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.



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:
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