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When the world's first video phone was launched in 1992... for $1,500

When the world's first video phone was launched in 1992... for $1,500 Most of us now regard Zoom meetings with understandable dread, but at one point three decades ago, video calls were a bleeding-edge and extremely expensive new technology.

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When the world\'s first video phone was launched in 1992... for $1,500
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10 min

In what must be one of the best examples of jumping the gun in technology history, American phone company AT&T unveiled a full-colour video phone on this day in 1992 - long before 3G, 4G or 5G, and before the widespread availability of broadband.

A hopeful Bob Kavner of AT&T said that the device 'would change the nature of communications.'The technology was mind-boggling considering the limitations of technology in 1992 - the images were transmitted via old-style telephone wires.

To get the Videophone 2500 working, you simply plugged it into an ordinary phone connection with no additional wires or equipment required.Kenneth M. Bertaccini, the president of AT&T's Consumer Products division made a confident prediction:
'A whole generation of young people, who've grown up in an atmosphere of sophisticated electronic devices are demanding video technology, and I believe that by the year 2001, visual communications will become as important to consumers as wireless communications.’

In the 2000s, webcams and PC messaging apps made video calling a reality - and the dawn of 3G mobiles made mobile video calls practical… long before the pandemic (for better or worse) made video calling a part of daily life.

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