The problem with the video phone concept is that nobody wants to do their hair and makeup every time they call someone. If I want to call my grandma, I can do so sitting at my desk naked and pouring Sue-Bee honey all over my chest. If I had a video phone, I’d have to put clothes on and such.
And imagine the inconvenience of being called unexpectedly with a video phone. Maybe it’s your boss and you look like crap, or you’re wearing a bondage/gimp mask because you and the missus were engaging in some maritals.
Audio communication is still so prevalent because it’s not much of an intrusion into our lives. Unless there’s a porno on in the background, it’s difficult to be embarrassed by how you’ll sound over the phone, but it’s very difficult to be embarrassed by how you or your environment looks.
And the “I’m home” door lock is ridiculous. A home security system that can be defeated with a cassette recorder is not a security system at all. And anyway, AT&T wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Well, they might have, but they got out of the voice recognition game a while ago as other people do it better.
My brother’s Palm Pilot could send faxes. You could connect a modem and then a phone cord. Don’t think it ever worked. If you have a digitized document, perhaps there would be a way to send that digitized document to the recipient’s screen and not a clunky printer on his desk…