A Brief History of the Videophone

By  |  Monday, June 14, 2010 at 12:58 am

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.


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. ReynaldoRiv Says:

    Every time I think of Video Phone I think of Pokemon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TwpXlcukPc&feature=related

  2. Andrew Emmett Says:

    Until mobile phone tarrifs become more realistic I will stick to using video calls via skype over a wifi connection.

    It’s impressive how the video call technology is taking off again, helped by increased bandwidth capabilities these days and cheaper hardware. I’m just waiting on the phone tarrifs and increased uptake now.

  3. Tom Says:

    Whats wrong with you people, deaf peiople has using Videophones, it is closer to 1 million users. Check the websites, sorensonvrs.com, zvrs.com, purple.com, conovo.com, (for informative website) zvrs.com….