July 7, 2011 11:52 AM | By Jared Newman, PCWorld
12 tech revolutions that fizzled

AT&T Picturephone (1964)



AT&T Picturephone
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The idea of video calling dates back at least as far as the 19th century, but the breakout product was supposed to be AT&T's Picturephone. Introduced at the New York World's Fair in 1964, its designers expected it to change forever the way we made phone calls, by showing video of the other party through a dedicated monitor.

Of course, voice calling proved to be a more convenient and economical way to stay in touch, so the Picturephone never took hold. Even today, video calling tools like Skype haven't transformed communication as drastically as email, text messaging, and status updates have. Maybe we just don't want to look presentable all the time.

* Video: Skype video chat comes to Facebook

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