In 1995, on this day the struggling Italian computer manufacturer Olivetti released the Envision 400/P75, a full multimedia PC for the living room that would transform the home computing experience.
Release of the Olivetti EnvisionA combination of Italian style and engineering talent in Ivrea had overcome the considerable challenges in conjugating innovation with quality standards in order to produce a home computing appliance for non-computer savvy people. Designed to resemble a videocassette recorder, the Envision bucked the trend in a diminishing PC market by convincing late adopting consumers that computers were not impossibly hard to use.
The Envision shipped with a choice of two processors: one based on the Intel 486 DX4 100mhz processor and one based on the Intel Pentium P75 processor. It had an infrared keyboard and an internal modem, and it was compatible with audio CDs, CD-ROMs, Photo CDs and Video CDs. It came with preinstalled programs that would allow it work as a fax, an answering machine when connected to the telephone line. It also had three possible operating modes: simple mode (limited to the use of an infrared remote control to control the volume and the reproduction of photo, video or audio CDs); intermediate mode (with a simplified Windows shell replacement called Olipilot that gave access to a limited set of programs); advanced (the standard Windows 95 graphical user interface).