Today’s technology allows us to pull a phone out of our pocket and Facebook message a friend on the other side of the globe. This power was unimaginable through most of human history. Let’s examine the key developments that have paved the way for our current age of communication.
Alexander Bell would never have dreamt that his 1876 invention was just the beginning of a technology that would eventually lead to modern smartphones. The first phone was an incredibly basic transmitter, based on using different tones to vary the electrical current through a wire.
This first telephone functioned by having its operator shout into a cone. This noise caused the piece of paper to vibrate, and then, in turn moved a needle wired to a battery. The needle’s movement determined how much electrical energy was transferred along a wire to the device’s receiver. Essentially, sound waves were transferred into an electrical signal, and then back again, resulting in an audible output.
The Mobile Phone
It wasn’t until 97 years later that the first fully mobile phone was created. While phones had already been installed in cars, it was Motorola’s 1973 prototype that allowed for phones to be completely portable in their user’s’ hands. The initial invention was the size of a brick, only offered 30min talk time, and then had to be charged for 10 hours. Since then mobile phones have developed exponentially to what we have today: devices a fraction of the size with thousands of times the power.
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Initial prototypes of the internet came about in the 1960s and 1970s. These set the standard for transmitting electronic data between multiple networks and were the foundation of the technology we all use today. However, it wasn’t until 1990 that the internet became more recognizable and user-friendly due to Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the World Wide Web. This being a method of accessing online data in the form of websites. From that development, the Internet rapidly became mainstream worldwide.
While initially, the internet was very primitive, it did not take long to develop into its current state where it’s used by billions for all manner of daily functions. These include work, study, shopping, and dating. Many people could not envision life without it, making its invention a cornerstone of modern life.
The origin of email is quite a contested issue with many of its instant messaging features that are familiar today being developed by various experts over the course of the 1960’s and 1970s. However, V. A. Shiva Ayyadurai holds the copyright for the term “EMAIL”. He used this name for his electronic mailing system, that he developed for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
This system revolutionized communication worldwide. Over time it has dramatically reduced the sending of physical mail. In fact, many individuals and companies don’t use traditional letters for their correspondence at all, relying entirely on the electronic version.
It’s the initial creation of email that led the way to more advanced communication technologies. These include Skype and social media messaging systems.
Possibly the most well-known communication software, Skype has rapidly expanded since its release in 2003. Its use has become so widespread that even grandparents are using it to communicate with their children and grandchildren.
Anyone with an internet connection can use the software to instant message and video call people anywhere in the world. Many smartphone apps can also do this. However, Skype was the first program to make the technology mainstream, effectively paving the way for Viber, Whatsapp, and a host of others.
Facebook, Twitter, and similar sites have brought the world closer together. They not only help people chat with their friends, but also enable the creation of a network of worldwide contacts.
This technology has also transformed the business world. Basically, every company now has a Facebook page to interact with its customer base. This allows them exposure to billions of customers, without paying a cent for marketing.
Into The Future
All these inventions have crafted our current way of life. It’s hard to determine what the future will hold. However, with technology advancing at such a staggering rate, it’s sure to create even more seamless communication options for people all over the globe.
About writer – John Teller
John has always had a knack for communication. After working with a handful successful technology firms, he came to Caelum Communications with years of experience in communication technology. When he isn’t working to educate people about the benefits of communication in the business world, John enjoys painting and spending time with his family.