Bell Labs is famous for everything from the transistor to verifying that the Big Bang really happened, but not all its work was a success. AT&T showed this Model I PicturePhone prototype at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. Video phones never made it to market, though.
With 64 antennas, this Nokia Bell Labs network base station can beam data to up to eight smaller wireless stations, each of which brings high-speed, fast-response networks to nearby homes. It uses 5G technology called massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output).
Domhnaill Hernon of Nokia Bell Labs shows the possibilities of 5G networks with a race car demo. With 5G communication delays of just a millionth of a second, people can pilot the cars remotely. With today's slower 4G, communication delays were too long for drivers to avoid obstacles. Low-latency networks will be important for tomorrow's self-driving cars.
Radio signals from next-gen 5G networks don't penetrate windows and walls well, so Nokia Bell Labs developed a system that pairs an outdoor antenna with an indoor link to the home network. The two are aligned precisely with strong magnets so they can transfer data even through triple-paned windows.
A scale model of the first transistor, developed at Bell Labs in 1947, is a couple of inches wide. It became the foundation of today's computer industry, with today's chips using billions of transistors.
Bell Labs developed this touch-tone phone prototype in the 1950s to replace slower-dialing rotary phones that used electrical relays. The first touch-tone phones arrived in 1963, but AT&T added the star and pound keys in 1968.
The Nokia Airframe brings some of the computing power of remote data centers closer to phones, self-driving cars and other networked devices. The close proximity overcomes delays that result from longer communication links.