Wait, Why Isn't She Looking at the Dude?

Associated Press
Associated Press

In the photo above we see a videophone (or picturephone as they were sometimes called at midcentury) being demonstrated at the International Radio Exhibition in Stuttgart, West Germany in 1965. The weird part? The woman in the photo is apparently not even bothering to look at the person she’s speaking with.


But we get it. Are you ever on a Skype call and look directly into the camera just to freak the other person out? We do too.

Once the technology was conquered, tech companies couldn’t quite figure out how to popularize the videophone. Instead, it snuck in through the back door in devices like our smartphones and computers. But how often do you use Skype or videochat in general? That’s what we thought.


Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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I use Skype a fair amount. My brother lives in another state and Skype is the easiest (and cheapest) way to see him and his kids. I don’t see why people wouldn’t use video chat, tbh.

As far as looking directly into the camera goes, with mine mounted right over the monitor, I never give it a second thought. I just look at the screen. The difference between the top of my 24" where the camera sits and the display panel is minimal.