A picture phone through which people could look at each other while talking

Sania SaeedWeb Editor

14th Sep, 2021. 12:34 am

In the 1960s Bell Lab created a picture phone in which people could look at each other while talking on the phone.

The history of videotelephony covers the historical development of several technologies which enable the use of live video in addition to voice telecommunications. The concept of videotelephony was first popularized in the late 1870s in both the United States and Europe, although the basic sciences to permit its very earliest trials would take nearly a half-century to be discovered. This was first embodied in the device which came to be known as the video telephone or videophone, and it evolved from intensive research and experimentation in several telecommunication fields, notably electrical telegraphy, telephony, radio, and television.

A Tandberg T3 high definition telepresence room in use circa 2008, 40 years after the introduction of Picturephone.

The development of the crucial video technology first started in the latter half of the 1920s in the United Kingdom and the United States, spurred notably by John Logie Baird and AT&T’s Bell Labs. This occurred in part, at least with AT&T, to serve as an adjunct supplementing the use of the telephone. A number of organizations believed that videotelephony would be superior to plain voice communications. However, video technology was to be deployed in analogue television broadcasting long before it could become practical—or popular—for the videophone.

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