baby on videophoneIn 1993, AT&T aired a series of commercials promising technological advances that would change the way we lived. They claimed we would soon be able to drive through toll booths without stopping to deposit change. We would be able to read books on screens. We would be able to take a music history course on the computer or something. They were mostly right.

Not entirely, of course. And they weren't involved in most of these technologies - they built a lot of prototypes, but it took startups, tech giants and others to make them public. But 1993 was the same year Michael Jackson turned into Elizabeth Taylor from a pile of dust, so you can't blame AT&T for being, at the very least, culturally ambitious.

The clip circles around the net every few months, because the ad keeps getting less and less futuristic. It's surging again now, when we've gone way beyond "tucking your baby in from a phone booth" to "tucking your baby in from anywhere with a cell signal and an iPhone."

Check out the string of commercials (voiced by Tom Selleck!) in which AT&T promises to usher in sweeping change, and our chart that checks off where AT&T checked out.



Additional reporting by Eliot Glazer