The Strange & Interesting Evolution of The Modern-Day Video Call
Humble video chat is now a common staple in our society – we often don’t think of the intuitive and incredible amount of behind-the-scenes coding that allows for a live conversation through the pixelated screens in front of us. It all started in 1927 when the idea of the communication channel was conceptualized by Bell Labs in the United States. As we will explore, technology took decades to gain real traction for a variety of reasons; pricing issues, general disinterest and an aging population that was not ready for the leaps and bounds of the future.
It’s hard to imagine our modern times without the wonderful, futuristic technology at our disposal, especially considering how far we have come from the humble beginnings of clunky, expensive, and ultimately nascent radio waves thanks to the first photophone in Canada. AT&T in the 1970s – to standardized and over-prevalent video chats with sites like Omegle, ChatSpin & Zoom.
Let’s take a look behind the curtain and have a little history of video chat, and where it might go from here.
1970’s & 1980’s – Expensive prototyping
The humble beginnings were littered with high prices and a substandard image. Early iterations of video chat technology plagued by general market disinterest and a stack of prototypes that would eventually lead the way. However, during these decades there was a serious lack of optimism, unsuccessful attempts tormented the telecommunications industry, shaking the confidence of leaders for years to come.
1990 – A webcam is born
It wasn’t until the birth of the World Wide Web that technology began to make its presence known. The early 1990s saw the creation of what is now known as the Internet, in which technologically inclined inventors began to tinker with video technology. In 1994, the first commercially viable option for internet chatting was released, affordable and colorless. Connectix webcam led to the first stage of technology for many years.
2000s – The Renaissance of Gossip
In the mid-2000s, the notion of video chat was everywhere, thanks to more affordable internet prices compared to telecommunication alternatives. Suddenly the market was inundated with programs and websites that sought to gain a foothold in the ever growing visual communication market. This decade gave birth to the Skype video call, instant messaging chat and communicable HD video concept.
It had taken over 30 years, but the concept was no longer a passing fancy, it was now mainstream.
2010s – A new generation and a portable Hellos
The boom continued with flying colors thanks to an ever greater focus on technological breakthroughs and the advent of mobile technology. Apple was of course ahead of the game with the introduction of FaceTime and focused on phone technology as the future of visual communication.
More and more companies have started to see the benefits of video chat and conferencing, quickly embracing the technologies as they come out and incorporating them into their day-to-day work.
The upward trajectory of technology has no sign of slowing down. Be the primary communicator and savior for many In the tumultuous year of 2020, without the wonders of the communication channel, there would be much greater pressure on the world’s population, where do we go from here? Well, hard to say, given how far we’ve come in less than 50 years, we don’t know what wonders lie ahead, but we can’t wait to see.