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May the Force of Video Conferencing Be With You!

As many are well aware, May 4th is Star Wars Day. It’s the day when Star Wars fans and movie buffs the world over celebrate what has become a legit global phenomenon. Since its 1977 release, Star Wars’ A New Hope has impacted our society and culture in countless ways. The franchise’s cult following only grows with subsequent films, novels, comics, TV shows and games.

Tomorrow’s Star Wars Day got some of us BlueJeans movie buffs thinking—Advances in movie-making often finds a way into the technology we use every day. Look at a company like Dolby. Ray Dolby got his start by improving the sound quality in audio tape recordings and soon after ventured into film. The work we do with Dolby—a name synonymous with best-in-class cinema surround sound—brings that immersive movie-quality audio to the everyday video conference user.

Movies, books and TV shows help conceptualize what’s possible before we actually create it. Before video-enabled conferencing systems, laptops and smart phones like we have now, many movies—some going as far back as the 1920s and 1930s—showed the world what the future of video communication could look like. 

At BlueJeans, we specialize in bringing to life what started off as just an idea on the silver screen. But the creativity for what ‘could be’ achieved started long before our reality. One of the earliest movies to feature a video call was Metropolis in 1927. It’s interesting to see that, even though it depicted a future filled with incredible technology, the actor had to turn multiple dials to get on a video call. No one-touch join there! 

Another movie worth mentioning is the 1965 feature, Out of the Unknown. The video call technology in this movie features a self-view of the caller before a call is connected to show the camera works – what we at BlueJeans now call the "hair check" feature.

Blade Runner, from 1982, is an iconic, genre-busting movie (and a personal favorite) which, while not doing too well at the box office, changed the way movies were made. It is credited for re-imagining and setting a new, fantastic standard for sci-fi cinematography, while developing a cult following among fans and film makers alike. This film also features the lead character, played by Harrison Ford, making a video call from a public video phone.

The future of video calling in pop culture can’t happen without including the Jetsons! This cartoon ran from the 60s through the 80s, going on to be a world-wide hit. The show predicted, with bizarre accuracy, what life for a typical family looked like in the future. We now have food available at the push-of a button, robots in the home, gadgets for doing everyday chores and, of course - video calls. It remains to be seen if flying cars become as common for us as it was for them!

Movies like Star Wars and the others mentioned go beyond mere pop culture entertainment because they help shift our thinking, pushing the boundaries of what seems possible. At BlueJeans, we are thrilled for what the future holds for video conferencing technology and technology in general - whether these innovations are popping up in movies and TV, or being imagined and created as we speak. May the Force be with us in this journey, and with you all!