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Video Communications: How Far We’ve Come 

coworkers using video communications

A quick Google search will reveal that video communications technology has become a highly valuable, and beneficial, tool for businesses. By providing a face-to-face connection with colleagues and clients around the globe, video communications have been shown to increase efficiency and engagement all with just a few quick clicks. 

However, video communication hasn’t always been the user-friendly experience that it is today. In this blog post, we’ll explore the evolution of video communications in business, from its inception to its current status as an indispensable communication tool.  

The Beginning of Video Communications (1938-1970) 

When video communication first arrived on the scene in the early 20th century, it was seen as a novelty, rather than a necessity. In fact, the first “televideo conference” didn’t even occur until 1938, when a group of scientists gathered in an auditorium at Bell Telephone Laboratories to witness a video link-up between two of their Manhattan offices.   

But it wasn’t until the 1960s that video communication really took off thanks to Bell Lab’s newly minted Picturephone service that it displayed at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. It was the first system to allow businesses to communicate visually as well as vocally.  

By 1970, AT&T made this service available to the general public to use. However, due to its high cost ($1,260 per month in today’s money) and limited features, it was not widely adopted by businesses. Eventually, AT&T discontinued the Picturephone service 

The Turning Point of Video Communications (1990-2010) 

In the late 1990s, advancements in internet technologies made it possible for a Cornell graduate to write the first web-based video conferencing platform which launched on Macintosh computers in 1992. This software allowed businesses to make the most of their video communications. Instead of struggling with bulky camera systems and VCRs with latency issues and grainy images, users could hold virtual meetings in high definition and at far greater distances than before.  

As internet usage evolved and bandwidth issues were addressed, users could hold stable conversations over longer and longer periods of time. And as video communications solutions became more stable, more and more businesses started adopting them. 

Video communications truly took off in the late 2000s, when platforms such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and Facetime were made available for businesses, providing a simple and user-friendly experience at a price point companies could afford. 

Finance, education, and even healthcare companies began realizing the convenience and cost-effectiveness of video communications (now more commonly referred to as video conferencing). And they began adopting the technology in droves, reaping more rewards than they could’ve expected. They saved on travel expenses, experienced fewer interruptions in conversations, enjoyed improved productivity in the office, and saw an increase in face-to-face engagement with team members and clients. 

Other industries began moving towards video communications, which inspired telecom providers to start integrating video communications with their phone systems and other services. 

Video Communications Today (2012-2023) 

Today, video communications have become an invaluable asset to businesses. They allow remote employees to remain connected with their colleagues around the world. They provide cutting-edge features like screen sharing important apps and documents, instant messaging between users, and walking clients through important information using virtual whiteboards. Oh, and they also support audio, allowing for multiple participants to participate in a conference call without the need for a microphone.  

Furthermore, the rise of mobile devices and social media platforms have expanded the possibilities of video communication in business even further! Companies can conduct meetings, perform product demos, and host conferences, reaching millions of users all without leaving their office building.  

From presentations and webinars to online meetings and lectures, the possibilities of video communication are truly limitless.  

Say Goodbye to Limits with Unitel 

At Unitel, we can connect you to your employees and customers like never before. Thanks to our secure video conferencing solution, you can enjoy unparalleled HD clarity, uninterrupted service, and access to a wide variety of video communications features. Some of these include chat integrations, virtual whiteboarding, and high-definition streaming. It works across multiple platforms and supports mobile devices, making it an ideal option for remote and hybrid teams. Ready to define your own limits? Schedule your free demonstration today