The best example of this is the concept of the video phone. Since the 30s, when view screens became viable to mass produce, people have been in love with the concept of video telephony. Every science fiction show in existence, set any time in the future, has always prominently displayed video chat technology.
Surprisingly, fairly literal interpretations of video conferencing were actually tested, from the fifties all the way into the early 90s. They just didn’t work as efficiently or neatly as they should.
It wasn’t until computers, small scale cameras and a high-bandwidth internet were available that video calls could be readily employed by the everyday user. And you’d be amazed how quickly the video phone has exploded in popularity as a feature in overall internet use.
Taking its first common form as conference call program that most OS releases had a form of, free web chat quickly found its way into the form of a feature for instant messengers. Soon, video chatting itself became a heavily enough used medium that some instant messengers emerged which were built centralized around it.
Around this same time, chat rooms became tremendously popular alongside the instant messengers. However if someone wanted to use a webcam chat room, they were stuck with the video conferencing programs and the messengers until quite recently. Chat rooms, being powered by web applications, couldn’t support video chatting.
As cameras became smaller, better and cheaper, webcam chat became increasingly popular. There are very few electronic devices these days that don’t support video chat rooms or some kind of webcam chat between callers on the network.
Even game consoles are beginning to support video conferencing during live multiplayer games.
Over time, web video chat has also become a standard secondary feature on cellphones and even on HD frontends for cable customers. Entire video interviews and live long distance telecasts can now even be handled over these systems with perfect video and audio quality.
In recent times, web-based video chat has become an increasingly common venue for this as well. It took its first form as a way to send streaming video transmissions over embedded video players on websites. Soon, random video chat programs, which can put one person on video line with random strangers, are becoming a popular time waster. Now, many sites are also forming to offer free video chat between predetermined users as well. These sites don’t require a signup, subscription or any kind of payment to be used, either.
This technology stands to have a great many uses in the future as people continue to embrace it. Technologies tend to become web-powered services when they’re considered low-impact tasks for computers to run. This means that now, video calling is such a simple and basic fundamental to computers that anything can be made to work with it. With websites easy to set up and coordinate over, webcam chat can now easily (and somewhat privately) be used for long-distance job interviews, education and even possibly medical diagnostics.
The video phone very much exists, and works better than the old futuristic predictions had hoped – and way cheaper too.