What is Communication Technology?
Communication technology consists of all programs and equipment used to process and relay information. Some of the tools we often use to communicate include telephone, e-mail, radio, television, and digital channels. The importance of information cannot be stressed enough. Businesses relay information to clients, suppliers relay information to companies, schools pass knowledge to students, and government communicates information to citizens, etc. Inadequate information causes low productivity, time wastage, and unwanted results.
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Brief History of Communication Technology
Communication technology has significantly evolved in recent years. The modern communication channels have not always been there. Human beings used other methods to exchange information, such as drawings, writing, printing, and telegraph. The use of telephones followed, and eventually, the digital age arrived.
Drawings were the earliest form of communication between humans. These drawings were usually inside caves where the people lived. Since languages had not fully developed, people used drawings to communicate about past events, ideas, or rituals.
Slowly but surely, drawings gave way to written information. Humans needed a method to record property and trade transactions, and hence writing came in handy. It started with pictorial representation of objects and evolved into pictures that stood for specific sounds. Then letters represented certain sounds, and finally, people started putting letters together to form words. Writing is still one of the crucial forms of communication to date.
Writing was time-consuming, and only the well-educated elite could write, so eventually, it gave way to documents. Johannes Gutenberg, a German goldsmith, invented a machine that could print movable wooden blocks. Over time, Gutenberg’s invention was fine-tuned hence making book production easier.
Printing made spreading information more effortless, but the printed information would take long before reaching its target. In the late 18th century, French scientists discovered how to transmit signals using light. Samuel Morse, an American inventor, improved this technology by introducing a machine that converted speech into electric signals and converted the electric signals into written words. This machine was a telegraph.
An American inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, studied the telegraph and used the principle to transform speech into electric signals. Together with his colleague, Elisha Grey, they transformed these electric signals back into speech, hence introducing a faster way of communication; a telephone. This communication method was faster than all its predecessors, and it quickly became popular with people.
The Rise of Digital Communication Technology
Scientists initially used computers to solve complex mathematical problems. With time, they realized they could use these machines to share documents. After this discovery, the internet became publicly accessible. This saw a massive leap in communication as people could instantly relay information from one part of the world to the next.
Digital technology has taken a whole new turn with the introduction of smartphones. According to recent research, there were over 3.8 billion smartphone users in 2020. From voice and video calls to e-mails and social media communication, smartphones have compressed multiple communication channels into one device. New online casino sites even allow users to play their favorite games using their smartphones. Social media, another aspect of digital technology, has made it easier for people and businesses to communicate across continents.
The Importance of Communication Technology
The International Data Corporation estimated the expenditure on ICT across the world to hit $4.3 trillion by the end of 2020. This information emphasizes how much people are willing to spend on communication technology, stressing its importance. Some ways in which communication technology is essential for humans include improved ties and connection, modern and efficient ways of conducting business, improved healthcare, education, and improving the environment.
Reviews.org also conducted a study showing that more than 66% of Americans are on their phones more than 160 times a day. This clearly shows how increasingly important communication has become and how communication technology has eased the process.