Video chatting phones – in 1970

Bell Labs was right about so many aspects of video chatting.

They were right that it would a little bit awkward. That it’d provide “an enhanced feeling of proximity and intimacy.” That people would use it as a way to get out of tiresome business trip. That, someday, really, we’d all use it.

They were just wrong about how much anyone would be willing to pay for it.

In 2014, video chatting is one of the clearest “hey-it-really-is-the-future” features of day-to-day life. But it was first commercially available 44 years ago, when Bell Labs debuted the private “picturephone” in Pittsburgh in 1970.

The First ‘Picturephone’ for Video Chatting Was a Colossal Failure – Sarah Laskow, The Atlantic (12 September 2014)

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