In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made a famous phone call to his associate, Mr. Watson. Almost immediately, it occurred to folks that Bell’s gizmo would be even cooler if it had pictures. And for 130 years, people have been fantasizing about videophones, building them, and generally expecting that they’d eventually become pervasive.
Last week, Steve Jobs made a highly-publicized call–using the iPhone 4′s FaceTime video calling feature–to his associate, Apple design honcho Jonathan Ive. Tech historian Benj Edwards took FaceTime’s debut as an excuse to look back at the long, checkered history of the videophone–there have been a lot of attempts to get consumers to buy into the concept. Here’s his slideshow exploration of the subject.