Video Calling Is 50 Years Old!

Video Calling Is 50 Years Old!

During the pandemic that has required Millions of people all over the globe to work remotely, apps like Zoom, Skype, WebEx, and Microsoft Teams have seen massive adoption rates. These collaboration apps allow Teams of people to make video calls, text chat, share files, and other things that would’ve been difficult a decade ago… or would it have?

It turns out the world’s first video phone was unveiled 50 years ago today, on June 30, 1970. The first AT&T videophone was called the Picturephone Mod II and it was tested in Pittsburgh. The unit included a 5.5″ x 5″ monochromatic display with 250 lines of resolution. The camera was able to resolve what would today be referred to as 0.8 Megapixels.

While this seems rather barbaric today, in 1970 it was revolutionary. Unfortunately, the Picturephone never saw widespread adoption and today, there are only a few working models in existence. A couple of those are owned by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. One of them is pictured above.

About the Author

avatar KALE: A geek who works in the IT field and lives in Dallas, TX. He is also a music geek who has played in several local bands. Previous to his IT career, Kale worked as a photojournalist. He brings technical advice and artistic counterpoint to the podcast.