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Books Tech

Crossing a telephone with a TV set

Image of old Western Electric ad for telephone and TV set

What do you get when you cross a telephone with a TV set? That’s what Western Electric was asking in 1968 with this advertisement for its Picturephone.

Western Electric is crossing a telephone with a TV set.

What you’ll use is called, simply enough, a Picturephone set. Someday it will let you see who you are talking to, and let them see you.

The Picturephone set is just one of the communications of the future Western Electric is working on with Bell Telephone Laboratories. Western Electric builds regular phones and equipment for your Bell telephone company. But we also build for the future.

What is now considered FaceTime on the iPhone, the convergence of video and phone technology took another 42 years to come to fruition. The above image appears in the book The Golden Age of Advertising: The 60s.

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Social Media Tech

The great escape

Peeking at life, three inches from the screen. It’s the possibility that it may show us something captivating that keeps our eyeballs alive. #tech #gif

Peeking at life, three inches from the screen. It’s the possibility that it may show us something captivating that keeps our eyeballs alive.

Even with robotic intervention, we’re glued to that rectangular glow. There’s enough variety in the repetition to keep us hooked.

But what happens when we willfully want to get away?

We struggle to bend our attention back into focus. When a thousand websites and apps are talking to us screaming for clicks, we lose understanding of ourselves.

Consumption drains identities so that we can no longer be ourselves. The physical and psychological spaces are limited, that is until we make the first move to get out.