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History of Live Video Chatting

Posted by igamingbuzz on October 1st, 2019

Video calling and the presence of a front-facing camera on all modern smartphones have become very common. Now we can play baccarat live, call relatives and solve working issues via video, but this was not the case before.

How it All Began?

In 1927, engineers at the AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories Research Center (later Bell Labs) were able to create the first-ever working television communications complex. Apart from test airs, the first person to test the solution in practice was then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover (who became president two years later).

On April 7, 1927, in a specially equipped studio deployed in the city of Washington, he addressed officials and journalists gathered in New York. His image and speech were transmitted in real-time via telecommunication channels over a distance of over 320 km.

On the same day, another session was organized - the video and audio signal was broadcast to a New York studio from the city of Whippany (New Jersey), this time via radio. The transmission distance was over 35 km (from Washington to Whippany, the signal was also transmitted by wire).

The first full-fledged version of a two-way audio-visual telecommunication system was presented by AT&T only three years later - it was 1930 that can be considered the year of the birth of video communication in its modern sense.

In 1936, the year of the XI Summer Olympic Games in Germany, the German inventor Georg Schubert introduced the first working system - the prototype of modern video telephony - which could already be used for commercial purposes. The development was called the "visual telephone system". Initially, the connection was organized by a coaxial cable laid between Berlin and Leipzig (approximately 160 km). And after the improvements, it became possible to organize communication sessions at a distance of 1000 km or more.

Great Expectations from AT&T

And here AT&T appeared on the scene again - as it turned out, despite the global cataclysms, all these years the company did not abandon the idea of creating a full-fledged commercial video phone.

Almost three decades spent on development were not in vain - in 1956 they presented another prototype of a two-way video communication system. True, she transmitted only one frame in two seconds, but she gave a fairly clear and stable image (180 lines, 40-kilo pixels per frame at 25 frames per second).

Digital Networks and the Internet Age

In 1976, video calling came to Japan. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) has deployed a videoconferencing network between Tokyo and Osaka for corporate use. Following this, IBM launched a video call service between offices in the US and Japan for weekly planning meetings. The bandwidth of the communication channels was 48 Kbps.

Since 1980, when the emergence of digital telephone networks took place, the development of videoconferencing began to accelerate. It seemed that “the very moment” had come and AT&T again decided to try to take revenge. In 1982, the incredibly expensive corporate video call service Picturephone Meeting Service was launched.

Small low-resolution video phones in the 80s were also created by Japanese Mitsubishi. Her Luma Video Phone device costs $ 1,500. It was a telephone with a small black and white display and a camera. The transfer rate was 1 frame in 3-5 seconds.

In 1994, the first commercial QuickCam webcam, released by Connectix, appeared on the market (in 1994 for Mac, and in 1995 for Windows). The model, which costs $ 100 in retail, transmitted a black and white image with a resolution of 320x240 pixels and a frequency of up to 60 frames per second at 16 shades (or 15 frames per second at 256 shades). In 1998, the entire QuickCam line was bought by Logitech.

Also See: Years Later, Video Phone, Video Communication, Video Chatting, Video, Telephone, Att

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