This Week in Technology History…

30 May 1996: ‘Video Conferencing’ Officially Rolled Out

In light of  all the fun and fancy features allowed us via Skype and various other vehicles for streaming video, let us cast our memories back to the days in which ‘video conferencing’ was the stuff of fantasy and imagination.  While decades old in the collective imagination, thanks to sci-fi novels and TV shows like Star Trek, this dream was not actually made real until 1996.  According to the Computer History Museum, all it took was an afternoon pow wow between AT&T executives and Intel programmers to make it happen:

“AT&T held a meeting to announce a system that would allow personal computers to make and receive video phone calls over standard telephone lines. In years of efforts by AT&T and others to find success in the technology, the AT&T system made use of Intel’s Pentium processors and compression software to allow both video and audio information to share a phone line rather than a high-capacity ISDN, T-1, or T-3 line.”

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