With the rapid development in IT in the last 40 years, multiple different communication channels have been opened up between people. Having a big impact on how we speak to each other, the language we use, and many aspects of human life. But what impacts have being more connected had?
Timeline of IT innovation connecting people
1978: Emails: The first email is sent to 393 users on ARPANET by Gary Thuerk. It was on a central system computer network which required both user to be online at the same time in order to send and receive the email.
1983: The internet: ARPANET adopted TCP/IP in 1983 and began putting together the network that would eventually develop into what we see as the internet. The web that we know today wasn’t developed until 1990 when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, which became the common method of entry onto the internet.
This provided a platform for the development of future IT communication methods.
1994: Smart Phones: The IBM Simon was considered the first smartphone, as it was the first phone to feature software applications. It failed greatly due to its cost of $899 and it was only available in certain states of the US.
In Japan in 1999 NTT DoCoMo launched the i-Mode which was the first mobile phone internet- service. This helped establish the W-CDMA standard for mobile communication. And led to the first 3G services being available.
1994: Videoconferencing: The first web cam, called Quickcam, from Connectix is released to the public.
It could only capture a 320 by 240 image in 16 shades of grey, and was initially only for Mac. But it inspired a multitude of innovations leading us to the advanced technology and software we have access to today such as mobile phone videoconferencing.
Looking at videoconferencing software. The popular Skype program began providing videoconferencing capabilities across the internet in 2005. Its success was attributed to the cross platform capabilities it possesses.
1996: Social networks: The first recognizable social media website, SixDegreees.com went live in 1996. It enabled user to share and create content, connect with their friends, expand their social groups and have profile pictures on display.
Other more influential social media sites would follow, but SixDegrees was where it all began.
1996: Instant Messaging: Although the beginnings of instant messaging can be traced back to 1961. The first widespread text based instant messenger was developed by Israeli company Mirabilis. It was called ICQ and allowed for multi-user chats as well as file transfers.
Appearing just a year later, AOL’s AIM messenger attracted a large market of users in 1997, with AOL eventually absorbing Mirabilis and ICQ in 1998. It would go on to dominate the instant messaging market and by 2005 had over 53 million users. Other IM programs have since taken over, including WhatsApp and Facebook’s chat.
1999: Cloud Computing: The idea was first suggested in the 1960s with the idea of creating “an intergalactic computer network”. But due to insufficient bandwidth until the late 1990’s it could not be properly developed. In 1999 Salesforce.com became a pioneer of software firms. Delivering their applications across the internet to clients.
2003: LinkedIn: The site became the first social media site for business professionals, promoting networking and increased connectivity of business people
With its addition of careers pages and job vacancy advertisements it connect potential job applicants to job recruiters, sometimes without them even knowing. A persons LinkedIn profile acts as a permanent online CV which advertises them to new job opportunities. As of 2018 it has built up and is regularly connecting over 500 million business people with each other.
2006: Facebook: Today a large proportion of the world is actively using Facebook. Its most arguably one of the biggest impacts on how we stay connected to each other. Its search tool has mad the world seem like a smaller place and given us the ability to communicate we had all but forgotten about, reigniting relationships.
The advertising feature has also connected people to products and services that they would not have thought about buying before. Creating a separate marketing platform with different features and functions to customize what we see according to the information a user has input on their profiles.
2007: Twitter: Though similar to Facebook and previous social media sites in some ways, Twitter was able to connect it’s users to not only other people, but other organisations and the media. Nowadays it has transformed into a major player in how world news is communicated to the masses. Creating high profile influencers over society, even being used by world leaders to communicate regional, national and world policies.
Has IT innovation increased or decreased communication?
A big argument in the use of IT to connect people. At the first look, it is easy to suggest that because there are more methods of contacting people in the modern age that communication has increased.
But a look at the type and depth of communication taking place it suggests people are more unsociable, hiding behind their keyboards. The length of conversation is decreasing, resulting in a lack of emotion and in meaningful conversation with which to learn from.
Is increased connectivity a bad thing?
What are the benefits of increased connectivity?
IT innovation has removed geographical and cultural barriers. Creating a more open and understanding global community. The sharing of opinions across borders has made social and political situations more transparent and the population more aware. This has promoted several beneficial movements in the last few years which then received a lot of backing through IT platforms, creating positive social changes.
As connectivity between people has increased through IT development, the same can be said for people to infrastructure. Technology such as instant messaging has been developed and taken on board by the healthcare industry. Allowing doctors to diagnose patients across the internet. This type of diagnosing system saves travel time to see a doctor, in which the patient could worsen his/her condition or spread it to others.
Now that we can speak to friends or family over instant messaging or video chat it means less car travel, reducing emissions. Development such as the smartphone have also made using public transport much easier, increasing the number of people on buses and trains, taking them out of their cars and off the road.
The savings made from being able to communicate with colleagues or clients promptly has enabled businesses to inject that cash into other areas of their business. Such as research & development. Meaning business growth.
Being more connected and sharing with our data means researching competitors or potential clients is now cheaper and takes less time. Through internet sites such as LinkedIn, FAME and Companies House, businesses can build up almost a complete profile of what is happening with a business, allowing them to get the upper hand or follow market trends.
How has connecting people helped push innovation?
It has given a platform and made it easier for people to share their ideas with each other, be inspired by something they see (possibly on the other side of the world) and bounce ideas off of each other at the touch of a button.
It’s changed the way people think about new inventions. They are no longer seen as a moment of genius. It has instead become a process of development after identifying a gap or problem. Being connected has then enabled developers to get in contact with the right people with the right knowledge to be able to push the innovation further and reach its potential.
What new IT innovations will increase connectivity?
ARM Technology: ARM DynamIQ
Based in Cambridge, Arm technology is a UK tech giant that is producing microprocessor IP’s. There are over 86 billion ARM chips around the world which are connecting us through tech platforms including mobile phones, home entertainment and connected cars.
This new ARM DynamIQ technology is bringing the biggest change in ARM multi cluster designs since the introduction of the four core cluster. It is changing multi-core computing by combining the big and little CPU’s into a single, fully integrated cluster.
A big benefit of the new innovative technology is the integrated new power management solutions for each software tasks. This power and performance comes from the low latency interaction between CPU’s as a result of the flexible architecture ARM has developed. This development will allow people to connect quicker, through an increased number of IT platforms as well as stay accessible longer due to the power performance solutions.
Follow the link for more information on ARM DynamIQ.
This innovation is a smart home monitoring system which allows those with friends or family who have limited mobility or require care to have peace of mind. The discreet and wireless sensors don’t require Wi-Fi or a phone line to but you can still enable text alerts and email alerts to be sent to you if there is inactivity across all of the sensors. Allowing families to check up on their loved one 24/7.
This new type of home care monitoring system gives people their independence by having no cameras or microphones. But still looks after them and gives the support they need when it is required.
The monitors not only pick up movement but all aspects of the household. Including door openings and closings, temperature, visits, meal timings and when/ if medication is being taken. The information is all sent to a personalised portal to allow users to stay in touch with what their loved ones are doing.
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