The farviewers are similar to the "magic mirrors" of folktale. The farspeakers are the same thing, but only transmit sound, and are much easier and cheaper to manufacture.
They work on the principle of sympathy induced between two near-identical devices. Each device has a specific 8-digit (hexadecimal) code.
They can broadcast, as well as going point-to-point, and some people have started shows. Among these are Victorious Fuller on 88836, a student at the University of Illene, who speaks in a nasal monotone and keeps saying "I mean" and "all right"; and.
Later in the development of the technology, recording is made possible on copper cylinders driven by clockwork (like Edison phonographs).
The farwriter works on a similar principle to the farviewer or farspeaker, but transmits text in the form of codes which can be printed or transferred to punched cards or tape.