Glossary definition of Videophone

Also known as: Video Telephone, Video Phone

Videophone is a telephone that is combined with a camera and display, which permits real-time, two-way audio-visual communication between terminals. Such videophones enable a videoconference to take place, whereby two or more parties can not only speak to one another but also can see each other, and show pictures of their surroundings or particular objects that are being discussed between the parties in the telephone call.

In the past videophones were quite bulky and not portable, but with the arrival of 3G technology it is now possible to produce a videophone with suitable camera and display, and the sort of data rates that are needed for real-time video communication. Although videophones are a usable facility, the high demands that video puts on the system bandwidth means that image quality is likely to be inferior to landline links.