The History And Evolution Of Video Chatting

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Nowadays, video chatting plays an important role in the life of modern society. But have you ever wondered “when did video conferencing start”? Let’s deep into the development of video chatting.

The Future is For Technologies

In contemporary times, you will hardly surprise somebody with the availability of a wireless smartphone. But in past times such devices seemed impossible to develop and use. Moreover today because of the global pandemic, the demand for video conferencing platforms has arisen. They became a lifebuoy for businesses and educational institutions that had to transfer to remote working.

Nevertheless, video chatting was widespread long before the pandemic and it was utilized not for working purposes but rather for ordinary communication with somebody. A lot of online sites like Chatroulette started to appear where users could chat with other people from all over the globe. No doubt that video communication has come a long way to be where it is now. If you are interested in who was that person who created video chatting, then this article is exactly what you need to get responses.

The History And Evolution Of Video Chatting

The 1870s is Just a Beginning

It may be hard to believe but the first concepts of video chatting started to be developed in the 1870s. It was Bell Labs company that was able to transmit an image and audio through wires. Unfortunately, decades were required to implement this concept into reality. Those developers probably had no idea that one day a Chatroulette app and other video conferencing platforms would be created because of their discoveries.

Changes in the 1920s

As the 1900s had come, technologies made it possible to relatively easily transmit audio. While the situation with video stayed complicated. One of the main reasons was not even in technologies of video transmission. The difficulty consisted of cameras of that time. The ground for video communication appeared only with the first working and stable TV cameras on the market. This happened in the second half of the 1920s.

Another fateful event for video chatting occurred on April 7, 1927. That day AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories company created an operational complex of television communications. This complex broadcast a moving image of Herbert Hoover (then-Commerce Secretary) live. The broadcast was carried out from the White House to New York. The approximate distance consisted of 200 miles. Viewers of the auditorium could see then-Commerce Secretary in New York while Hoover could not see viewers in his turn.

Creation of Two-Way Video in the 1930s

The history of video conferencing has changed when a two-way video appeared. At the beginning of the 1930s, the AT&T company represented the first two-way video communication session. This session was held between two offices of the AT&T company in Manhattan. In comparison with the Hoover demonstration, this session made it possible for both parties to see each other. Unluckily for the probable prosperous future of video chatting, the hard consequences of the Great Depression stopped the further development of video communications.

Development of Telephony in 1936

The 1936 year was remembered not only as a time of conducting the summer Olympics in Germany. But this year a German inventor named Georg Schubert worked out a prototype of modern videotelephony. Such telephony could be easily utilized for commercial purposes.

If somebody asks you “when was video chatting invented”, you can call this year. The system got its name as “Gegensehn-Fernsprechanlagen”. Also, it is known under the name “visual telephone system”. In the beginning, the connection in approximately 100 miles (a distance between Berlin and Leipzig) utilized coaxial cable. Later, this distance was possible to expand to 620 miles.

Post offices started to install booths for conducting video calls. With their help, connection to call booths in different cities was possible for people. But another problem changed the direction of the development of video chatting. This technology had to be terminated in 1939. The reason consisted of the beginning of World War II.

Post War Times

The history of video conferencing was meant not to stop. Long after the war finished, only in 1959 Bell Telephone Laboratories company developed a prototype of a two-way video communication system. Such a system made it possible to transmit only one frame every several seconds. Nevertheless, the image was clear and stable.

The mentioned project was regarded under the name Picturephone Mod I from AT&T company. An operating video phone was demonstrated at the World’s Fair in New York. This happened on April 20, 1964.

Several years later, in 1969, AT&T company presented the Picturephone Mod II. It was a video communication system oriented in offices. Such a system could broadcast 30 frames per second. AT&T company even tried to expand the national network of Picturephone. Unfortunately, this attempt failed.

Appearing of Competitors

The time of the development of the video chat with girls strangers app started to show up on the horizon when the first competitors of the video conferencing system in 1982 appeared. Thus, Compression Labs company (one of the competitors of AT&T company) launched CLI T1. It was the first commercial system of group video conferencing. Just imagine: the hardware of this system occupied an entire room while its initial cost was $250,000. What’s more, was that every call cost $1,000 per hour.

Time of PictureTel

Group of learners of Massachusetts Institute of Technology together with a professor created PictureTel Corp. After its formation in 1984, the first commercial video codec was invented. It made it possible to transmit data more efficiently. For an international video conference, AT&T company selected PictureTel in 1989. It was possible to provide two-way audio and video communication in real-time between PictureTel headquarters and the AT&T office situated in Paris. PictureTel was a business partner of IBM in multimedia in 1991. The same year PictureTel started to work under the development video conferencing system on the base of the PC.

The Rise of the Internet

The Internet boom took place in the 90s. This influenced the history of video conferencing as well. For example, the first video call random webcam was invented by learners of Cambridge University Computer Science Department in 1991. Moreover, at the beginning of the 1990s, a learner of Cornell became a writer of a program under the name CU-SeeMe. This was considered the first video conferencing platform on desktop.

SoundStation (the first product of the Polycom company) was released in 1992. It was represented as a triangular speakerphone and made it possible to speak and be heard simultaneously for both parties with high-quality audio. ShowStation was the first video-released product of Polycom two years later.

Emergence of Video Chatting Platforms

The possibility to call random strangers and acquaintances appeared in the 2000s. After 1999 developers started to add front-facing cameras for video conferencing. Since 2010 video conferencing on smartphones has been popular with the emergence of the iPhone 4 and FaceTime. Skype was initially developed as a text messenger but later was expanded so it became possible to add videos. In 2016 it became possible to add video via WhatsApp.

Probably the greatest boom of video conferencing tools came with the emergence of the global pandemic. They became especially handy since students had to continue learning at home and companies do business remotely. We can conclude that the history of video conferencing was not finished. Video chatting continues to evolve and it can still surprise users.

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