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Finally, in the 1990s, Internet Protocol-based videoconferencing became possible, and more efficient video compression technologies were developed, permitting desktop, or personal computer (PC)-based videoconferencing.
In 1992 CU-See Me was developed at Cornell by Tim Dorcey et al.
By reducing the need to travel to bring people together, this technology also contributes to reductions in carbon emissions, thereby helping to reduce global warming.
The concept of videotelephony was first popularized in the late 1870s in both the United States and Europe, although the basic sciences to permit its very earliest trials would take nearly a half century to be discovered.
The greater 1 MHz bandwidth and 6 Mbit/s bit rate of the AT&T Picturephone in the 1970s also did not achieve commercial success, mostly due to its high cost, but also due to a lack of network effect — with only a few hundred Picturephones in the world, users had extremely few contacts they could actually call to, and interoperability with other videophone systems would not exist for decades.
News media organizations have begun to use desktop technologies like Skype to provide higher-quality audio than the phone network, and video links at much lower cost than sending professional equipment or using a professional studio.
More popular videotelephony technologies use the Internet rather than the traditional landline phone network, even accounting for modern digital packetized phone network protocols, and even though videotelephony software commonly runs on smartphones.
Telepresence may refer either to a high-quality videotelephony system (where the goal is to create the illusion that remote participants are in the same room) or to meetup technology which goes beyond video into robotics (such as moving around the room or physically manipulating objects).
Videoconferencing has also been called "visual collaboration" and is a type of groupware.