Video calling as it was 42 years ago

By Labguy, a.k.a. Richard Diehl ( [GFDL, CC-BY-3.0, GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Verge just posted an article about the launch of the AT&T “Picturephone”from way back in 1970. I didn’t realise that video calling went quite that far back, but it seems to have been a fairly impressive achievement for its time.

“…the service cost $160 per month ($947 today). Because of the prohibitively high cost, the company’s projections of a hundred thousand Picturephones nationwide by 1975 fell far short, and only several hundred were in operation.”

It’s good to remember that whilst sometimes it feels like things are moving incredibly quickly, these technological advances have a huge weight of history behind them and are not things that have just popped up out of nowhere overnight.

So next time you’re making a video call from your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop to some person in a far off land and you’re positively amazed by it (I still get that feeling of amazement – especially on long distance video calls), just think back to 1970 for a moment!