Part I: What is Wireless?
“There is no doubt that the day will come, maybe when you and I are forgotten, when copper wires, gutta-percha coverings, and iron sheathings will be relegated to the Museum of Antiquities. Then, when a person wants to telegraph to a friend, he knows not where, he will call an electromagnetic voice, which will be heard loud by him who has the electromagnetic ear, but will be silent to everyone else. He will call “Where are you?” and the reply will come, “I am at the bottom of the coal-mine” or “Crossing the Andes” or “In the middle of the Pacific”; or perhaps no reply will come at all, and he may then conclude that his friend is dead.”
– Professor W.E. Ayrton (member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers) said this at a lecture at the Imperial Institute…in 1897. (Chandra, 2005, p. xii)
The saying of Prof. Ayrton from his lecture at “Imperial Institute…” in 1897 inspires me to travel through the time to find out the age of wireless. One thing is for sure, people are communicating wirelessly while they communicate verbally with each other. When person A calls up person B, the sound is transmitted through the air to the ears of a person B. Same will happen when person B replies back to person A. This in itself brings up the question such as “How old is wireless communication?” Finding the answer for such question requires traveling back to the history of mankind in order to find out when humans have started to communicate? An acceptable answer has been provided by Chandra (2005) by saying that “wireless communication between humans is as old as the human civilization itself, for as soon as the first humans started communicating with each other using their vocal cords, we had achieved wireless communication” (p. xii). The sound that is coming out from the mouth of a person A disappears in the air and then on the other side touches the ear of the person B. This approach of communication pushes to find out the route of the sound. Which is the route that the sound is traveling on through which on the other side is reaching the destination, i.e. the ear? In relation to this Chandra (2005) has stated that “the term wireless communication is usually used to refer to wireless communication beyond the ‘line of sound’” (p. xii).
Now that we know how old wireless communication is, would be in our interest to find out the answer to the other question, such is “How old is wireless technology?” Continuing my travel through the time, we find out that in 19th century Hertz has been invented by German physicist Heinrich Rudolph Hertz. In relation to Hertz, Vines (2002) states that “sound waves normally range from about 20 Hertz (Hz) to 20 Kilohertz (thousands of Hertz, kHz)” (p. 33) According to Maxim & Pollino (2002) the major breakthrough in wireless technology took place when “Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first wireless radio signal through the Italian hillside in 1894” (p. 3). Since than, Maxim & Pollino (2002) are saying that “wireless technologies have transformed how people communicate and receive information” (p. 3). This proves to be reality by comparing the wireless technologies of 20th and 21st centuries with that of 19th, century. Such transformation of wireless technologies is explained by Maxim & Pollino (2002) saying that “from the amplitude modulation (AM) radio sets of the 1920s to the multiple wireless devices of the twenty-first century, wireless technologies have evolved dramatically, defining new industries in the process and spawning a host of new products and services” (p. 3).
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Dear readers, hope you’ll find this post informative.
peace and blessings,