The 1964 Visual Telephone System From Bell Labs

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60s Skype - the world’s very first “PICTUREPHONE set” unveiled at the World’s Fair, 1964. (From the Bell Telephone Magazine, 1964, via Prelinger Archive)

60s Skype – the world’s very first “PICTUREPHONE set” unveiled at the World’s Fair, 1964. (From the Bell Telephone Magazine, 1964, via Prelinger Archive)

One wonders why such a huge time lag in developing this technology for everyday use.
(via THE PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW)
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4 thoughts on “The 1964 Visual Telephone System From Bell Labs

  1. There seemed to be two major innovations in almost every futuristic society dreamed up back in the second half of the 20th Century…. flying cars and video conferencing. The former was entirely impractical, but so cool to envision. The latter was very practical, but utterly boring. I think the reason the video phoning got so delayed in production was because all of the innovators were busy working on the cool but impractical stuff!

    Now that I think about it… this may have been why cell phone technology was also so slow to go from concept to everyday life… but has exploded in recent years since they can now do so many cool things besides just the mundane function of calling someone from anywhere….

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    • Pretty much sounds reasonable. Still, In the fifties and sixties tech like videophones were seen as way cool futuristic concepts. Every self-respecting spy, sci-fi, and future-fiction feature had its own kind of video communication device. The World’s Fair demonstration was one of the highlights of the event.

      It seems to me that there was more to it than a lack of interest.

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