While not quite the dinosaur that telephone booths are, wired communications is rapidly disappearing from our modern day society. Wireless is more convenient, faster and simpler to use and despite what some people believe, it can be secure. But this boon in wireless technology did not just spring up overnight. A lot of people laid the groundwork for the wireless keyboards, headphones, speakers, dimmers, etc. Here are just a few milestones on the path of our decreasing dependence on wired communications.
- Early 1820s: Electromagnetism is discovered by Hans Christian Ørsted and Andre-Marie Ampere.
- 1896: Guglielmo Marconi and W.H. Preece send wireless signals over a distance of one-and-three fourths miles on Salisbury Plain. (Early that year Marconi patented an operational wireless telegraph apparatus.)
- 1906: Lee DeForest patented the first triode amplifier. The first speech wireless transmission was broadcast by Reginald Fessenden.
- World War II (1941-1945): The war years see the rapid advancement of radio technology. Shortly after the war two papers are published on Information theory. These papers contain the basis of data compression (source encoding) and error detection and correction (channel encoding).
- 1954: Many Americans get their first glance of a wireless mobile car phone in the movie Sabrina starring Humphrey Bogart, William Holden and Audrey Hepburn. (The first car-based mobile telephone was set up in St. Louis, using ‘push-to-talk’ technology.)
- 1962: The first communications satellite, Telstar, is launched into orbit. Telstar was a U.S., French, and British collaboration that was the world’s first active communication satellite.
- 1974: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocates 40 MHz for cellular telephony.
- 1982: European GSM and Inmarsat established.
- 1990: Motorola files and is given permission by the FCC to launch 77 low orbit satellites into orbit.
- 1994: The FCC licenses the Personal Communications Services spectrum (1.7 to 2.3 GHz) for $7.7 billion.
- 1998: IBM, Intel, Nokia and Toshiba join forces to develop Bluetooth for the wireless exchange of data between handheld computers or cell phones and stationary computers.
Today as the public has gotten used to the convenience of wireless communications, companies like ours have – out of necessity – had to accommodate this need. Wired technologies, though they will probably never be completely replaced, are simply not practical in a number of situations. Ratpac Dimmers stands on the shoulders of giants and continues to innovate in ways that the early pioneers of wireless communications could not have possibly imagined.