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The Long-dated Tale of Video-Based Communications: Then to Now

“Communication is key” is a statement we’ve heard all our lives because, well, how simple would our lives be if everyone maintained constant and honest communication at all times… Imagine being in the 21st century with no internet or technology to keep us hooked on to! As difficult as that may be even to think of, this would have taken a major toll on our relations and networking. But hey, we all know that technology was a pretty recent invention, right? And of course, features such as video communication are known to be on the list of newbie tech. But what if this article told you otherwise?

Communication – A Necessity

Communication has been in place since the beginning of time, and just like our history textbooks taught us all along, people have always been in search of simplifying ways of communication. Like introducing letters to eliminate travel, the invention of phones to reduce the reaching time of letters, etc. These inventions show us that people had one goal in mind- To convey their message to the other person in the least possible time and effort. And technology has proved to be advantageous in cutting through existing limitations with its tremendous list of features, a pretty popular one among them being video conferencing.

Video Conferencing: Its Evolution

The Beginning

The late 1800s was the time around which Graham Bell invented telephones, which was a brilliant invention to ease communication, and soon enough, several countries got a hang of using these. A telephone is a device where you’d have to dial a person’s telephone number, and then speak into it to hear back from the receiving end. Coming towards the end of the 1800s, this great invention left people wanting a little more than just an only-audio communication. So during the 1870s, Bell labs devised the concept of transmitting both, audio and image over a wire and tried working towards it, but due to the lack of technology, this couldn’t be achieved until a couple of decades.

Although audio transmission was easy, video transmission required a camera as an essential technology for its working. And in the 1920s, the first operational and stable TV cameras entered the market, paving the way for the setting up of video communication.

Video Communication into Existence

With cameras having made their way into the market, AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories designed a working TV communication complex in 1927, which broadcasted a live moving image from the White House to New York(200 miles dist.). However, this was only visible in NY, deeming it a one-way video. Later, in 1931, AT&T was finally successful, in demonstrating two-way video communication in Manhattan. Unfortunately, the Great Depression put a pause on this development.

Picturephone Mod by AT&T-

Picking up the video development, in 1964, Bell Labs presented a working video phone with clear images that only transmitted one frame every two seconds, known as Picturephone Mod I, at the World’s Fair. Then in 1969, Mod II was introduced, which broadcasted 30 frames per second.

Further Developments-

Although Bell Labs kick-started and had a major role in developing video communication, there were other labs/groups too, contributing to this development.

  • In 1982, the first commercial group video conferencing system(CLI T1) was launched by Compression Labs.
  • In 1984, PictureTel Corp, built by some MIT students & their professor, provided two-way communication with real-time and full-motion audio video.
  • In 1991, Cambridge University students invented the first webcam that could pull 3 images a minute.
  • The early 1990s saw the release of the first desktop video conferencing platform CU-SeeMe, created by a Cornell Student.

VC Technology Today: Zoapi’s Contribution to This Uprise

Video conferencing today has grown to become an essential part of not only all companies but also everyone in general, especially having helped us survive and function through the pandemic. Starting from black and white images, to stable color frames, to currently having 4k resolution in real-time, VC technology has beautifully evolved to an extent where connecting visually with people across the world can be done in a jiffy!

As latest as we know this concept of video calls to be, this invention was way ahead of its time, continuously improvising for more than a century, and we now get to conveniently use platforms like Zoom, Microsoft teams, etc, right at our fingertips.

Taking this a step further, we have companies like Zoapi that help contribute to this uprise with its cool and techy features enabling a single platform for all video conferencing apps, calendar integration, customized digital signages, seamless screen sharing, etc, serving as a go-to platform for all businesses and institutions.

So, if you want to stay in this loop of video tech, Zoapi serves as the perfect companion for all your video conferencing needs! Check out and book your free demo today with Conferencing and Collaboration Platform for future workspaces | Zoapi

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