PicturePhone: How Bell Telephone Lost a Half Billion, But Nearly Created the Internet [Stories of Technological Failure - Part 3]
How Bell Telephone’s PicturePhone, introduced in 1964, flopped yet nearly catalyzed the internet.
Technically, it was an amazing achievement: Bell used the existing twisted-pair copper wire of the telephone network — not broadband lines like today — to produce black and white video on a screen about five inches square. And, amazingly for the time, it used a CCD-based-camera. It was meant to be the most revolutionary communication medium of the century, driving subscribers to purchase broadband lines, but failed miserably as a consumer product costing Bell a half billion dollars.
This is one of three videos in a series on marketplace failures of technological objects.