Ralph Baer basically invented video games. During the 1960s, when television itself was still fairly newfangled, he was piecing together how the first video game console, launched in 1972, could work.
It wasn't just video games that Baer figured out, though. The folks over at Gamasutra have shared this 30-minute video from a German computer history museum showing that back in 1973 — just about 40 years ago — Baer was already guessing what home multimedia systems would eventually do.
As Gamasutra describes, "Using technology available at the time... Baer demonstrates a concept for something akin to an all-in-one multimedia box that plays games, lets users shop by mail-order, has educational components, and even pay-for-TV applications."
Before modern microprocessors, before the internet, before any of the systems that make the Xbox work came along, before video games themselves were even widely popular and successfully mass-marketed, Baer figured out what we were going to do with it all 40 years later.