Move on, FaceTime: We're calling on a 1987 Mitsubishi VisiTel video phone

March 1988: Ronald Reagan becomes president, Rick Astley tops the charts with “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and Popular science wondered whether Mitsubishi VisiTel would usher in a new wave of video phone technology.

As you probably know, the VisiTel didn't exactly revolutionize tech history, nor did it exactly become an indispensable fad gadget of the time. Instead, the device became a small part of a very long history of video phone technology dating back to the 1870s.

FaceTiming a friend or connecting with colleagues over Zoom has become part of our daily lives, but how did we get here? How did we go from a satirical illustration making fun of Thomas Edison to video chatting with Grandma thousands of miles away? In the latter Popular science video, we dive deep into the history of video chatting and yes, we purchased a few Mitsubishi VisiTel devices and tried using them.

Want even more Popular science videos? Of course you do. Subscribe on YouTube.

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