How Bell Labs Almost Put a Videophone in Every HomeMatt Novak6/17/14 11:16amFiled to: videophonepicturephone03EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkFrom the 1950s until the 1970s Bell Labs spent over $500 million developing the videophone. But the technology failed to achieve mainstream success. Why? Bill Hammack from the University of Illinois has a great video explaining the tremendous promise and eventual demise of the videophone as a standalone appliance in the mid-20th century. Advertisement Below is a deeper look at the story of the Bell Labs videophone — from the experiments of the mid-50s, to the expensive and ultimately failed consumer trials of the 1970s.