Giants in History: Gregorio Y. Zara

The father of videoconferencing 

Gregorio Y. Zara (08 March 1902 - 15 October 1978)


Gregorio Y. Zara (8 March 1902 – 15 October 1978) was a Filipino engineer and physicist best remembered for inventing the first two-way video telephone.

Zara’s video telephone invention enabled the caller and recipient to see each other while conversing, laying the foundation for video-conferencing. Zara was an outstanding student who graduated valedictorian in elementary and high school before obtaining a scholarship to study mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He went on to graduate with highest distinction in aeronautical engineering and physics from the University of Michigan and the University of Paris, respectively.

Zara held 30 patents for devices and equipment. Other notable creations include an induction compass used by pilots for direction, a solar-powered water heater and an alcohol-fuelled aeroplane engine. Zara also discovered a law of electrical kinetic resistance known as the Zara effect.

University of Paris
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
University of Michigan
FEATI University
Far Eastern University