photo of first live teleconference Using computers for meeting support, video conferencing, and general online coordination and collaboration
the first computer supported meeting -  1967 The first computer-supported meeting - circa 1967
Watch the Trailer for Doug's 1968 demo which features the world's first video conference (5min)

Historic Firsts:
Collaborative Computing 0

Overview 1

Doug Engelbart has been affectionately referred to as the "Father of Groupware" for his pioneering work in computer supported collaborative work. Beginning in 1951 with visions of people working together on complex, urgent problems augmented by interactive computers, he pioneered in the 1960s and '70s an integrated system called NLS which included computer-supported meetings and teleconferencing, shared files, author-id time stamps on every line of sourcecode and every paragraph in the documentation, digital libraries, hyper-email, and online communities. You can see most of these features demonstrated in his 1968 "Mother of All Demos."

In 1969 Engelbart founded the Network Information Center to support the first networked online community (see Engelbart's Role in Early Computer Networking.

For complete details and descriptions see:

A History of Groupware 2

Following is an excerpt from the book "Working Apart Together," by G. Henri ter Hofte, 1998.

Click to enlarge

See Also 3

  Image of Historic Firsts chart Click for more Historic Firsts

Explore the Web 3a

  • Visit Historic Firsts - for more of Doug Engelbart's many groundbreaking firsts.
  • Visit Doug's Vision for Humanity - among those Historic Firsts, this describes the larger context of his work.
  • Visit Doug's Great Demo: 1968 - brings to life his early accomplishments with archive footage, photos, fun facts, story, and retrosectives (aka the "Mother of All Demos" – snippets shown above).

From Doug's Lab 3b

From the Press 3c