Man on Moon Versus Picture Phone

  • Posted: 08 June 2010 11:12 AM

    During my youth in the early 60’s, the two most iconic concepts was putting a man on the moon, and the picture phone demonstrated in the 64 Worlds Fair in New York.  Nobody who saw that exhibit ever stopped dreaming of a video phone.

    We were able to put a man on the moon that decade.

    We didn’t get the picture phone until this month, almost half a century after the first prototype was unveiled.

    You would have thought putting a man on the moon would have been harder.

    Because of leaks, Facetime seems like just another feature, but for those of us waiting for 50 years, it’s a dream finally, finally come true.

         
  • Posted: 08 June 2010 11:33 AM #1

    Next time we send someone to the moon, perhaps they’ll have an iPhone with them. Wonder what AT&T’s roaming charges would be?

         
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    Posted: 08 June 2010 11:58 AM #2

    willrob - 08 June 2010 02:33 PM

    Next time we send someone to the moon, perhaps they’ll have an iPhone with them. Wonder what AT&T’s roaming charges would be?

    LOL

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  • Posted: 09 June 2010 12:20 PM #3

    Not sure about the US but in the UK I had a phone back in 2004 with two cameras, one for video chatting the other for taking normal pictures (exact same as iPhone).  One of my good friends had the same phone and I think we used the feature twice throughout the entire year and a half that I owned the phone.  Other than that I thought the whole thing was a bit of a gimmick.

    This technology has been around for some time now (in Europe and Japan especially).  It just hasn’t made it big because I don’t think people actually want it that badly…

    Why the US is so far behind the rest of the developed world in terms of mobile technology (well, was, until Apple entered the scene!) is beyond me!

         
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    Posted: 09 June 2010 12:37 PM #4

    JonathanU - 09 June 2010 03:20 PM

    Not sure about the US but in the UK I had a phone back in 2004 with two cameras, one for video chatting the other for taking normal pictures (exact same as iPhone).  One of my good friends had the same phone and I think we used the feature twice throughout the entire year and a half that I owned the phone.  Other than that I thought the whole thing was a bit of a gimmick.

    This technology has been around for some time now (in Europe and Japan especially).  It just hasn’t made it big because I don’t think people actually want it that badly…

    Why the US is so far behind the rest of the developed world in terms of mobile technology (well, was, until Apple entered the scene!) is beyond me!

    Just in terms of network, the US system is very large and not as fast as you will find in Europe and Japan. Most of Europe and Japan are fiber optic, the carriers are going to be addressing this for years in the US. The thing with the video chat is that you have to have someone to video chat with. Until there is saturation with capable phones this will remain a niche area. Someone pointed out elsewhere that the “sexting” will increase, I say it explodes, I am just glad I don’t have a teenage daughter. :bugeyed:  Japan has had phones that do many things that our phones do not. The personal phone in Japan is a status symbol and the iphone is up against stiff competition. You mentioned that you had your phone for a year and a half, I can proudly say that my phone is about to have its 3rd birthday and actually works better now than the day I bought it. Thanks Apple. :apple:

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  • Posted: 09 June 2010 02:19 PM #5

    Video phones feel different—perhaps a bit less monumental—because their arrival has been a slow evolution of modems, webcams, and primitive landline video phones. We saw it developing over the years. Putting a person on the moon seems more epic because you’re either there or your aren’t.

    With a video phone the exciting part is not the realization that it’s possible, but the idea of having it on a portable, battery-operated, touchscreen device that costs $200 and fits in your pocket. It’s about having an implementation would have looked like something out of sci-fi even just a few years ago.

    Regardless, if you showed FaceTime to a person who’d been in a coma since the 60’s I bet they would be pretty darn impressed!

    [ Edited: 09 June 2010 02:23 PM by David Nelson ]