Wireless Age

From ArticleWorld

The wireless age refers to the technological era beginning in the early part of the twentieth century, which was heralded by the breakthrough development of wireless telegraphy and continues to see major breakthroughs in the subsequent 'digital age'. It revolved around the use of radio waves for communication.

Several scientists were involved in extensive research and experiments related to the newly-born technology of wireless telephony around the turn of the twentieth century. These included the American electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, the Indian physicist Jagdish Chandra Bose, the Russian physicist Alexander Popov and the Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi, who is widely credited for the invention of the radio and its subsequent commercialization.

Development of the wireless age

The start of the wireless age, with the development of the radio, has been among the most brilliant technological achievements in all history. It made possible communication over vast distances, instantly and effectively. The basic idea of wireless communications took root in the middle of the 19th century and was built on the theories of British physicists, Michael Faraday and James Maxwell.

After the invention of the radio at the turn of the 20th century, the next major invention was the television, which made possible wireless broadcasting over long distances. Further developments were seen in the 20th century with the enhancement in the use of vacuum tubes. It became possible to modulate and amplify wireless signals to facilitate voice transmission. Two-way radio systems soon became common among police forces and emergency services. Such devices are undergoing continuous improvement to reduce the size of such equipment, improve its functionality and extend its range.

Boom in the wireless age

The actual boom in the wireless age became evident after the rise of integrated circuit technology and the growth of allied fields like digital computing. Apart from improvements in commercial radio, television systems, two-way radios and shortwave radios, new technology saw the emergence of pagers, radio telegraphs, satellite telephones, laptop and palmtop computers, personal digital assistants and cellular telephones.

The continued rise of the wireless age

The above mentioned devices are mainly used for private communication. They operate at different pre-decided radio frequencies to avoid interference with other devices. There have been great leaps in wireless technology in the recent past, which has coincided with the rapid rise of allied technologies like computing and microelectronics. The wireless application protocol (WAP) for accessing the Internet is one such example of the several breakthroughs. It has become possible for businesses and educational institutions to synchronize with their various elements spread over vast networks without the need for complex, wired systems.