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.)

History of Video Calls: From Fantasy to Flops to Facetime next



Enter the Webcam

While highfalutin business executives were hamming it up with their $100,000 ISDN videoconferencing systems, consumers were busy too. In 1994, a small company called Connectix shipped the QuickCam, now considered the first webcam. The first model could only capture a 320-by-240 image at 16 shades of grey - and then only on a Mac-but its $99 price blew the market wide open.

Inventive users combined the QuickCam, the emerging Internet, and videoconferencing software like CU-SeeMe (seen here) to take part in the first Internet video chats in the mid-1990s.

Photos: Logitech/Yvonne Marie Andres

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