Feb 5, 2016 - New Technology

Think of how our world would be without wireless technology. Our skies would be practically obstructed by a jungle of wires! If we replaced every wireless connection with a wire, birds would be clotheslined in flight and we would trip everywhere we walked.

Smart phones and hobby articles like radio controlled cars and FPV drones would cease to exist. Radios would require miles of wire to reach a transmitter. Millions of wires would streak across city airspaces to accommodate millions of TVs and computers, making airplane pilot’s jobs impossible.

You get the picture. It would be a disturbing web of coaxial chaos! In a way, wireless technology cleans up cityscapes, cutting all those lines out and simplifying our views.

Wireless technology is often thought of as new wave, but if we look into its intriguing scientific past it has actually been around for longer than many internet users realize. The necessary elements to make it possible were not created by computer geeks; rather, the science behind wireless technology is literally right under our very noses!

So who figured out the science that makes wireless technology possible? Several contributors over two centuries gave it a kick start toward what we know today. The first clue about electrical energy travel was Ben Franklin’s famous kite experiment all the way back in 1747. With this, he discovered that electricity could move through the air. Fast forward to 1819 and we find Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted studying electricity and magnetism with a compass needle and an electric field. Hence, we have the field of electromagnetics today.

In 1873, Scottish physicist, James Clerk Maxwell devised special equations to describe how electromagnetic waves move through space, which paved the way for Heinrich Hertz to create the oscillator in 1887. He created radio waves with his invention.

By the end of the 19th century, the first radio telegraph transmission was sent across the English Channel by Guglielmo Marconi, a self-taught inventor. He stretched his signal further across the Atlantic by 1901 and then radio was brought to the public by 1907.

Initially, wireless applied to sending audio transmissions, and then TV came along when we added pictures to the transmissions. In the early half of the 20th century, people referred to radios as wireless. That same term that became outdated by the 1950’s is now in vogue and acknowledged as new technology!

Just like radios back in the old days, today’s wireless technology involves electromagnetic patterns sent between two antennas. The transmitter is the sending antenna, often in the form of a tower, and the receiver is the antenna that communicates those sent signals to us. You’ve seen antennas on the back of a router, right? Your router itself is a sophisticated little computer that creates a wireless network for all your devices by using radio waves instead of cables to connect them. With as many computers as we have under one roof in businesses and some homes, we couldn’t be happy with just a modem anymore. Without wireless routers, office buildings would be huge tangles of cords!

Now, more than half the world’s internet users take advantage of wireless technology. We’ve cut the cord further with our connectable devices such as smartphones, USB drives and external hard drives and reached for the clouds! The ability of our devices to pick up a hotspot is another form of cloud technology.

From the first experiments with electricity to the present day, we’ve seen awesome developments in the broad field of communications technology. For the progressive individuals who look forward to the future and dream about how we will communicate in 50 years from now, stay tuned!