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Wireless is the use of electromagnetic waves instead of wires to connect devices in the telecommunication sector. The most common form of waves used to connect two or more points for communication is electromagnetic waves. It is used to cover the distance between few meters to millions of miles into the deep-space. Over the time long range communication that was impossible to connect with wires were made possible through wireless technology. During the dawn of 21st-century wireless became a necessary and the most common and popular mode of communication with the invention of advanced communication technologies, namely, LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi.

History of Wireless

  • Alexander Graham Bell’s and Charles Sumner Tainter’s 1880’s invention of the ‘Photophone’ is considered to be the first wireless device. This invention used light to transmit sound instead of electricity. This invention is extremely important as it is the earliest form of the technology, which modern computers use to send information around the globe and beyond.

  • With time a number of electricity using wireless devices were invented but they failed in providing the necessary outcome. Thomas Edison’s idea of wireless telegraph was one of the first formal uses of electrical wireless that was used in severe disasters to communicate.

  • All the problems that earlier wireless had were resolved by using radio waves to transmit sound over a large distance.

Modern Wireless Devices

Almost all the devices and gadgets used by the majority of the population are wireless. With the advancement in the field of technology and internet-of-things, we have moved far away from making cordless phones to turning any device that has a user interface into a communication device with internet. Some of the major gadgets of 21st centuries are:

  • Airband, used by the aviation traffic control and aviators to communicate with each other or with ground control. They use an average high frequency of 118 to 130 MHz.

  • Bluetooth, used by smartphones, laptops and other Bluetooth connecting devices to share data over short distances.

  • Wireless USB, it used by different user interfaces to connect to the internet instead of using a cable router.

  • Global Positioning System (GPS), it is a satellite connected radio wave based navigating system that is adept at producing real-time data.

  • Cellular Telephones and satellite telephones, the former uses an on land basis radio frequency, transmitted by towers on the ground and the latter use satellites over large ranges to connect with another point.

  • Remote Control Devices, almost all the controllers use wireless technology to control their designated devices.

Other Forms of Transmitting Modes

Transmitting modes are no longer limited to electromagnetic radio waves, other forms of waves are being used to transmit and connect communication services.

  • Microwaves, this is used as a substitute for radio waves in some cases. To change the range of communication directional antennas are often set-up.

  • Sonic waves used to communicate over short range mostly by using ultrasonic sound waves. Sonar is one such device used by submarines, ships, underwater security system, etc

  • Free Space Optical Communication uses light to transfer data over free space. Photophone used this wireless technique to communicate.

  • Electromagnetic Induction, this is used in the biomedical field and has short range energy and data transfer capability, for instance, a pacemaker.

Trends in wireless technology

  • Li-Fi technology: the Lightwave is now being introduced to transmit data. It faster than a standard Wi-Fi connection. It is the future of wireless that sustains the need for speed in every sector. For instances, it can be used in airplanes, where radio waves communications causes disturbances for the plane’s signal and light waves is its solution.

  • Telemetry Devices: These technologies have existed for over decades but now its revolutionary influence over medical practice has made it more innovative. It has the potential to improve health-care technology. It can be used to detect life-threatening diseases, without having to hamper the patient's daily activities as the patient can be monitored from far away.

  • Wireless Data Centers: A joint study between Cornell University and Microsoft found that turning data centers to wireless would reduce the use of energy and space. It would be smarter and eco-friendly. The technology required creating wireless data centers are still under extensive research but it has a promising future.

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