It’s been 50 years since Video Conferencing made its debut at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. To say that video communication has “come a long way since then” may still be an understatement. It’s truly transformed life as we know it. What could only be imagined years ago is now the very technology we can’t picture ourselves without, from product videos that engage consumers to live-streaming performances for the entire world to see from any device with internet.
As video technology has advanced over the decades, it’s altered our very lifestyle. A whopping 80% of online users prefer watching videos over reading text. With ongoing developments in WebRTC (real-time communication) technology, the world is now graduating from ear-to-ear mobile chatting to face-to-face onscreen interaction.
Talk Fusion brings thousands of people together every day with cutting-edge video communication. As we continue to innovate into the future, integrating ground-breaking WebRTC technology into our newest life-sharing video solutions, we pause to reflect on the history of video and celebrate the innovations that have led us where we are today.
WebRTC technology continues the legacy of life-changing video communication innovations.
The Start of Something New
In its early stages of development, Video Communication was merely a concept for laboratories and federal use. Project developers didn’t give up, however; they were dedicated to finding ways to connect people around the world and created many monumental innovations along the way.
1950’s: AT&T begins to research video telephony.
1964: Video Conferencing is introduced at the World’s Fair in New York, used to talk to people in Disneyland in California.
1970: AT&T introduces the Picturephone, costing $160 per month for each fixed end-point.
1982: The first commercial video conferencing system is made available for $250,000 (plus $1,000 per hour!), connecting users via satellite.
1984: Teleconferencing computers that weigh 100 pounds and cost $100,000 are replaced with $12,000 circuit boards.
A Foundation for Future Technology
The 1990’s brought technical advances in Internet Protocol (IP), which determines the location or origin of devices and makes managing web traffic easier. Video compression technologies were developed that allowed desktop-based video conferencing. During the same decade, self-invented codecs fueled the launch of Quicktime Player, Windows Media Player and RealTime. However, while videos were viewable through these programs, they were very low quality.
1992: Apple Macintosh’s CU-SeeMe launches, becoming the most widely available videoconferencing system to date.
1996: First version of Macromedia Flash is developed, but it’s used primarily for animations, gaming and entertainment.
Next Age of Video Communication
At the start of the new millennium, High-speed Internet and video capture capabilities became available at lower costs. This led to the release in 2003 of Skype, a voice and video-calling platform. However, while people enjoyed conversing with others via webcam, there were still program limitations and quality issues.
2001: Using a satellite videophone, TV reporters broadcast live from Afghanistan in October – the world’s first war broadcast in real time.
2003: Skype is launched in August, allowing users to chat face-to-face.
2005: Flash 8 is released, which offers video viewing support and comes installed in most computers.
2005: YouTube, video sharing site, is founded in February.
2006 – Motorola Razr MS500 is the first phone to include a video camera.
2007: Talk Fusion is founded and launches Video Email!
2008: HTML 5, which gives users the ability to instantly play a video file, is released. HTML changes video and web development, giving anyone the ability to set up a website or blog for personal or business reasons.
2009: In June, Apple debuts the iPhone 3Gs, the first of its kind to have native video capability; thereafter, it becomes a standard phone feature.
2010: People can now hold video conferences via tablet or mobile device.
2012: The public’s interest in online video watching continues to increase. In July alone, 184 million web users in the United States are responsible for 26.9 billion video content views–that’s an average of 22.3 hours of video content per viewer!
2014: Talk Fusion launches CONNECT in January, showcasing WebRTC technology, and integrates Live Broadcasting, Video Conferencing and Desktop Share without Downloads or Plug-ins.
It’s amazing to see the years of research and development that have contributed to the innovations we now use every day. In the 1950’s, the journey to chat with anyone at any place had only begun. Now, decades later, WebRTC technology gives people the freedom to connect whenever and wherever they’d like!
Video Communication has evolved into a global phenomenon, with Talk Fusion standing as an industry leader. Truly, the future has never looked brighter.
Written By Talk Fusion CEO, Bob Reina