Ways Technology Has Revolutionized Communication
Ever since humans have been on this planet, we have invented forms of communication: From smoke signals to pigeons and couriers to the telephone and e-mail, which are constantly evolving as we continue to interact with each other.
One of the major communication developments arrived in 1831 when the electric telegraph was invented. While the concept existed as a form of communication before this date, it was electric engineering in the nineteenth century which had a revolutionary impact transforming communication forever.
Now, digital methods have replaced almost all other forms of communication, especially in the business world. We possibly can’t remember the last time we wrote a letter instead of an email at work, today even our signatures are digitized. Today picking up the telephone is also a rare event; we’re more inclined towards Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, etc.
When you look back and see how communication has advanced over the years, it is incredible.
In 1849, the phone was invented and for 50 years it was an essential object in homes and offices, but the tethering influenced its flexibility and device privacy. The mobile phone finally arrived in 1973. Motorola created a cell phone that initiated a chain of developments that transformed communication forever.
The smartphones in the early days were mainly brought to the enterprise market, proving to bridge the gap between phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), but they were voluminous and had a short battery life. In 1996, Nokia was launching phones with QWERTY keyboards and, in 2010, most Android phones were touchscreen only.
In 2007, Steve Jobs revealed the first iPhone to the world and Apple opened the road to modern smartphone aesthetics. Before the iPhone, ‘flip phones’, and the phones with a divided keyboard and a screen were the norm. A year later, a central application store was launched with an initial application of 500+ apps. Currently, there are more than two million applications available at the Apple App Store.
Starting in the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on communication, including the increase in narrow communication via email, instant messaging, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone calls, interactive video calls, forum discussions, blogs and social networks.
The Internet has made communication easier and faster, allowing us to stay in touch with people regardless of time and location. The pace of business accelerated and expanded the possibilities within the commercial space. It allowed people to find their voices and express themselves through social networks, YouTube, memes, and whatnot. The Internet has connected and divided us like nothing before.
As a by-product of the World Wide Web, email was introduced in 1991 (although it had been operational for many years before) and significantly changed our lives, whether for the better or worse depending on your point of view. The first users of the messaging platform were educational and military systems to exchange information. In 2018, there were more than 3.8 billion email users, which is almost half of the planet. In 2022, we are expected to send 333 billion personal and corporate emails per day. That’s an alarming statistic!
While e-mail is invaluable and we cannot imagine a world without it, there are tools that are emerging that are giving email a run for its money. Take Slack (an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Communication and Knowledge”), for example, the company launched in 2014 that has often been described as an email killer. However, while the app has become the most popular chat tool for monitoring productivity, used by 10 million people every day, e-mail is still in the game. In recognition of this, Slack updates have ensured that people who still depend on e-mails are not excluded from collaborative work.
The first instance of portable technology was a 1999 mobile phone, which has become a piece of technology synonymous with workers in the city. It gave entrepreneurs the chance to respond to calls when they’re on the go and even while driving.
Ten years ago, the idea that you could make a video call from a device other than a phone would have been a sci-fi dream. Now, with smartwatches, audio sunglasses and other emerging portable technologies, these features are part of our daily life.
Virtual Reality (VR)
The next generation of VR has existed only from 2016 but it’s already shaking communications. The beauty of the VR presence means that it is possible to connect with someone in the same space at the same time, without the period and the cost of the trip, even if the participants are on different continents.
VR also helps facilitate better communication. In a typical discussion, a lot of information is non-verbal communication that can be transcribed in VR. The tone of voice, doubts, the movements of the head and hands greatly improve the understanding of the emotions and intentions of the participants. Furthermore, in VR, all distractions are eliminated, and people can be completely focused on what is happening around them.
Furthermore, research suggests that with further information, we can better apply what we have learned after participating in virtual reality. 3D is a natural communication language that exceeds linguistic barriers, as well as technical jargon.
5G, the fifth generation of the mobile network, promises a faster data download and load speed, broader coverage and more stable connections. These benefits will provide significant improvements in communication. Instant communication will be possible and frustrating video calls will be a thing of the past.
As technology develops, it is exciting to see the mode of communication evolve, especially when it comes to communication and workplace collaboration. We are already seeing the way you save time and money. Even the use of social networks to connect with people from all over the world is incredible. Digital communication has changed all of our lives for the better. Without our smartphones and laptops, we would all be lost. (Literally, since we also take our GPS with us wherever we are going today!)
The question is, what do you think of the future of communication technology?