The world’s first commercial video conferencing call took place 50 years ago today

It was 50 years ago to the day that the first commercial video conferencing call took place. Just half a century later, video calling via smartphones is utilized by millions of people on a daily basis.

On June 30, 1970, Alcoa CEO John Harper and Pittsburgh Mayor Peter Flaherty took part in the first commercial video conference call using AT&T’s new Picturephone Mod II. A day later, the subscription-based service officially launched at eight companies in the Pittsburgh area. New York City was to serve as the other launch city but network deficiencies meant the city had to withdraw, leaving Pittsburgh as the lone launch city. […]