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Although not as widely used in everyday communications as audio-only and text communication, useful applications include sign language transmission for deaf and speech-impaired people, distance education, telemedicine, and overcoming mobility issues.It is also used in commercial and corporate settings to facilitate meetings and conferences, typically between parties that already have established relationships.
In the 1980s, digital telephony transmission networks became possible, such as with ISDN networks, assuring a minimum bit rate (usually 128 kilobits/s) for compressed video and audio transmission.
A videophone is a telephone with a video display, capable of simultaneous video and audio for communication between people in real-time.
Videoconferencing implies the use of this technology for a group or organizational meeting rather than for individuals, in a videoconference.
This was first embodied in the device which came to be known as the video telephone, or videophone, and it evolved from intensive research and experimentation in several telecommunication fields, notably electrical telegraphy, telephony, radio, and television.
Simple analog videophone communication could be established as early as the invention of the television.