Power Marketplace’s public service journalism 💙 Give Now
Codebreaker

Face Time. Really?

John Moe Jun 8, 2010

I’ve been interested in the idea of video phones for a long time. It’s thought of as this thing that only exists on The Jetsons and in the distant future. Jobs even mentioned The Jetsons in the speech yesterday. Jobs also talked about how this feature will change the world as we know it or some such hyperbole. But video phones have been around for DECADES.

The Wikipedia page on them lists the first practical working one being built in 1936 (there are imaginings of them dating back to the 1880s). And various iterations have been built over the decades since and they pretty much all bomb.

Is it because the product is lousy/clunky/expensive? Or do people simply not want to make phone calls while they look at other people? If they did, why doesn’t anyone use the iChat feature on their Macs? For that matter, why didn’t Apple call this iChat for iPhone? It’s not like they’re afraid to use that lower case i. Anyway, here’s Business Insider explaining why Jobs is right and this will revolutionize everything. I’m dubious.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

This is NOT a paywall. 

Marketplace is community-funded public service journalism. Give in any amount that works for you – what matters is that you give today.