History of Video Calls: From Fantasy to Flops to Facetime

A visual history of the science and sci-fi of phone calls you can see. (And, no, it didn't start with The Jetsons.)

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Mid-1990s Desktop Phones

AT&T wasn't the only company in the 1990s to push a color, all-in-one videophone. The MCI Video Phone (right, 1993) also worked over regular phone lines.

It wasn't long before companies began utilizing higher bandwidth ISDN phone lines for their videophone products. The British Telecom Presence (left, 1996) sold for $4,000 and included a 6-inch color LCD screen. Pricey ISDN would not provide the catalyst needed for the videophone's widespread success. It did, however, serve a viable platform for business videoconferencing technology through the 1990s.

Photos: British Telecom / MCI

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History of Video Calls: From Fantasy to Flops to Facetime

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