The Price For A Videophone in 1955 Was $44,000 Adjusted for Inflation

We’ve been imagining a future of ubiquitous videophones for over a century. And today it’s considered no big deal that we’re able to make video calls with devices that we carry around in our pockets. But it took a while to get to that point. One reason? It was incredibly expensive.
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How Bell Labs Is Reinventing the Future All Over Again

In 1964, a pair of Bell Labs researchers in New Jersey pointed the world's largest radio telescope to the skies and unwittingly stumbled upon one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th Century: cosmic background radiation. We talked with the legendary physicist behind that breakthrough to find out more—and with the… » 5/20/14 7:00am 5/20/14 7:00am

Inside Bell Labs, Where the Future is Being Built

Inside Bell Labs almost 70 years ago, the invention that defined the 20th century was born: The transistor. On a recent sunny April day here in the present, Gizmodo had the rare opportunity to tour the historic and cutting edge facilities at Bell Labs—and get a preview of the inventions that could change this century. » 5/05/14 11:20am 5/05/14 11:20am

The Birthplace of the Cellphone Is Being Turned Into a Mall

Think Apple’s forthcoming Cupertino headquarters is the first corporate space ship to touch down in America? Not so: In 1962 the legendary R&D hub, Bell Labs, opened a glittering, 500-acre headquarters in semi-rural New Jersey. Today, it's the focus of an ambitious reuse scheme that could turn it into a commercial… » 10/24/13 3:40pm 10/24/13 3:40pm

A Brief History of the Videophone That Almost Was

The videophone is one of those technologies that more or less snuck up on us. Promises that one day you'd not only be able to hear but see a person through your telephone are nearly as old as the telephone itself. The videophone spent nearly a century as every bit as much a "technology of the future" as the flying car… » 8/28/13 4:20pm 8/28/13 4:20pm

Windows 8's Great Great Grandfather Was a Real Jerq

Why Xerox never chose to capitalize on the groundbreaking GUI developments made at its Palo Alto Research Center may never fully be understood. But other companies certainly saw the value, and in addition to Microsoft and Apple creating their own graphical computer interfaces, Bell Labs created the Blit in 1982 » 8/28/12 7:00pm 8/28/12 7:00pm

The Holmdel Horn: The Most Important Radio Antenna Ever

In 1964, two researchers at Bell Telephone Laboratories were desperately attempting to pin down a source of interference that their antenna kept encountering. Little did they know that their antenna, the Holmdel Horn, was picking up the first observable evidence of the Big Bang—cosmic background radiation. » 4/06/12 11:30am 4/06/12 11:30am