AT&T VIDEOPHONE 2500 BRINGS FULL COLOR AND MOTION
VIDEO TO CONSUMERS OVER REGULAR PHONE LINES
NEW YORK, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Predicting that video phones will be as popular in 10 years as cordless and cellular phones, AT&T today introduced the world's first full-color, motion video phone that works in any home in the United States.
The AT&T VideoPhone 2500 sends and receives video calls over existing telephone lines, for the same price as voice calls.
"We are bringing human sight and sound together at last," said Robert M. Kavner, group executive, AT&T Communications Products. "Not just for the rich. Not just for big corporations. But for everybody. Visual communications has begun."
The AT&T VideoPhone 2500 is the first in a series of video products and services AT&T intends to introduce over the next several months.
"This is the way people want to communicate," Kavner said. "The time is right. The price is right. The technology is right. And AT&T is ready to deliver."
Until now, video communications primarily has been limited to business videoconferencing using digital networks.
"This breakthrough makes video communications so simple that people can take the VideoPhone 2500 home, plug it in and use it," said Kenneth M. Bertaccini, president of AT&T Consumer Products.
"A whole generation of young people are demanding video technology, and I believe that by the year 2001, visual communications will become as important to consumers as wireless communications," Bertaccini said.
The AT&T VideoPhone 2500 is a standard-size feature telephone, with a fold-up panel holding its 3.3-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) screen and camera lens. It plugs into standard telephone and power outlets. Once a voice call is made, the users each touch the "video" key, which activates the video call. The color video moves at up to 10 frames per second. Callers can ensure privacy by closing a shutter over the lens at any time.
"Consumers who have tested the VideoPhone are excited about using it to maintain emotional ties with loved ones and friends who live elsewhere," Bertaccini said.
"With the VideoPhone 2500, grandparents can see the baby's smiling face and families can share holidays when they can't be together," he said. "We're making that easier by not just offering it for sale, but also for overnight rentals."
The VideoPhone 2500 development, led by AT&T Consumer Products, represents a major collaborative effort among AT&T Bell Laboratories and several business units.
Key elements resulting from this collaboration include audio compression, software integration, digital signalling processors and a state-of-the-art, built-in modem.
Compression Labs Inc., of San Jose, Calif., in a joint development agreement with AT&T, provided the video compression technology.
The AT&T VideoPhone 2500 will be available in May at AT&T Phone Centers nationwide for $1,499, and in mid-summer, it will be available for sale at major retailers across the country. The Phone Centers also will offer lease-to-buy plans and will rent the VideoPhone for under $30 per day.
In Phone Centers, for a fee, AT&T will make VideoPhones available for people to place calls. Later this year, AT&T also will offer a public VideoPhone for locations such as hotel lobbies and airport lounges.
/CONTACTS: Jo Johnston, 201-581-3905, or at home, 908-638-4547, or Steven Emery, 201-581-4067, or at home, 908-873-8387, both of AT&T/
(T) CO: AT&T ST: New Jersey IN: TLS SU: PDT SM -- NY026 -- 6832 01/06/92 10:59 EST