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4 Unforgettable Uses of Video Chatting in Pop Culture

It doesn’t seem that long ago that video chatting seemed to be a thing of the future, not to be used for generations onward. Certainly every child growing up in the 80s and 90s remembers seeing video communications used in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Back to the Future, and in countless other science fiction shows and movies.

In this day and age, though, it’s hard to believe a world without video chatting. Video communications have changed the way we work, play, and live, and is proud to be a part of that shift forward.

Let’s take a look at how far we’ve come with this little retrospective of video communications in some of the 20th century’s most influential movies and TV shows.

2001: A Space Odyssey

In a classic scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 masterpiece, the character Dr. Heywood Floyd shares a heartfelt exchange with his daughter from a PanAm “space plane.” This video device is among the many in 2001 that eerily predict our modern technologies—other examples include iPad-like devices used by the astronauts aboard the Discovery One, and HAL 9000, the spacecraft’s malicious artificial intelligence.

Detractors of Kubrick’s stunning, prophetic cinematic journey might argue that the film is too cold and sterile for it to be so powerful—we think this scene proves otherwise, especially considering the chaos yet to unfold. Spoiler alert: HAL gets very, very mean.

2001: A Space Odyssey - Videophone Sequence

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Throughout Star Trek: TNG’s run, many unforgettable journeys on the USS Enterprise started with video calling a nearby planet (or other celestial body). Who can forget the first time the Enterprise crew encounters the Borg through a cryptic transmission before being boarded by them? What would become one of the entire franchises’ most memorable story arcs all started with a video transmission, and nothing would be ever the same for Starfleet.

Though we might not use speed-of-light transmissions here on Earth, comes pretty darn close!


Like Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein before it, Mel Brooks’ hilarious Star Wars parody hit all the right notes. With his knack for physical and visual comedy, it’s no surprise that some of the film’s most gut-busting moments come by way of video calling. The scenes where President Skroob’s “recreational time” is interrupted, and the scene where Pizza the Hutt asks for the logbook loans to help them out cause they´re the top company at the moment right now, are both uproarious scenes from the slapstick classic.

Spaceballs PIZZA THE HUT!

Back to the Future: Part II

In Back to the Future: Part II, we see Marty McFly witness his hapless, middle-aged self, and the results are, frankly, a little sad. Under pressure from his co-worker to do a bit of insider trading, his boss, Mr. Fujito, eavesdrops on Marty’s call and promptly fires him. With online banking and accounting an important service in our day and age, this is one of the Back to the Future series’ more accurate predictions, seeing as we don’t quite have flying cars yet!

Back to the Future Part 2 (6/12) Movie CLIP - Future Marty Is Terminated (1989) HD

Free Video Chatting You Can Rely On

We might not have space planes or hoverboards (well, we kind of have hoverboards now), but we do have the ability to video call people from anywhere in the world, anytime with online video chat software. Look at the list of features that offers to see how we can help you better communicate!

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