Apple’s legendary Advanced Technology Group developed some of the most influential technology of the century

“At this year’s WWDC, Apple delighted some users with a new feature in macOS Mojave. Called ‘Stacks,’ the new functionality automatically sorts your desktop clutter into neat stacks of file types at the blink of an eye,” Jesus Diaz writes for Fast Company Design. “Stacks aren’t really new, though. Like many other aspects of the technology we use today, they evolved from the work of Apple’s research center: the Advanced Technology Group.”

“The ATG was founded in 1986 by Larry Tesler, a computer scientist who had previously worked at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center – aka PARC, the birthplace of the graphic user interface – before moving to Apple,” Diaz writes. “The group’s mission was to create breakthrough technologies that didn’t need to be products. The theory went that the ATG’s computer scientists, shielded from the company’s day-to-day grind, would have the creative and professional freedom to spark the Next Big Thing in consumer tech.”

“From 1986 to 1997, isolated from the fray at One Infinite Loop, Apple engineers and scientists crafted breakthrough technologies like HyperCard, QuickTime, QuickTime VR, and Apple Data Detectors,” Diaz writes. “These inventions – even if they don’t exist today in their original form – shaped how computers, smartphones, and even the web itself works today.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: In 2011, at a Churchill Club event in San Jose, Calif., former PARC engineer Larry Tesler talked about Steve Jobs’ trips to Xerox’s PARC, including the one where Jobs eyed the company’s graphical user interface prototype, which ended up making it into the Mac.

When Steve Jobs visited PARC – November 11, 2011


    1. I get the sense that the MacPro is at its AOL in the area of innovation; All that Apple or anyone can add to it is more power which is the kind of mundane task that MS is good at doing for a select but an ever diminishing group of high-enders.

  1. But surround sound in 3D audio on the Mac requires Boom 3D. No dolby atoms or even Apple proprietary sound design. No real speech synthesis improvements since Alex on the Mac, now ported to iOS. VoiceOver image description and OCR is a joke. No, just more donut-and-coffee-grabbers for management, and if this upsets them, then use that anger to go do something, freakingApple!


  2. When Larry went on to work on Newton, Dave Nagel (of Bell Labs) took over and continued the tradition – surprised no mention of “knowledge navigator”, done during that time to support Sculley’s public commentary/promotion of the PDA comcept. Pity that Larry’s very clean vision of a “workslate” kind of product (think iPad) wound up jammed into the Newton’s too-small form factor, and then failed as a result. Kinda like Steve took the wonderful Mac vision and tried to jam it into a floppy-based 128K box. That nearly failed too, until the Mac II rescued it, and showed the promise.

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