How Bell Labs Almost Put a Videophone in Every Home

From 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.

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.

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