From the old cable based internet modem connections to the new sim based ones, our technology when it comes to internet has come a long way. Wireless technology refers to any kind of technology such as cell phones, which is used to send and receive data. This technology uses EM waves as a carrier signal for part or all of the communication.
When talking about wireless, we can also refer to a GPS system, pagers, cordless computer peripherals, remote controls, two way radios, baby monitors satellite television, etc. They are all good examples of wireless technology. And we have made this technology a part of our day-to-day lives, intertwining it with every possible aspect of our work, fun and personal activities. In our homes, in a café, or at a bar, we’re permanently surrounded by invisible information.
There are more types of wireless technology than you think
Apart from the types of wireless technology which everybody knows, there are also a few, better hidden ones. Some of these, you might have seen at some point but never really thought about them as technologies, while others you might have just simply overlooked:
- GSM – Cell phone system used in Europe and a few other countries;
- EDGE – A new, faster version of GSM;
- GPRS – basically the wireless connection of your cell phone;
- UMTS – as the name implies, it is a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System;
- WAP – A set of protocols meant to standardize the way that mobile terminal access the internet;
From an industrial point of view, wireless is split up into four categories:
- Fixed wireless: These are all the wireless devices in our homes, offices, institutions, etc. Pretty much any building connected to the internet has one of these. These wireless devices receive input (the internet) from a cable-based connection an output an “internet bubble” around them; they project a field which mobile terminals can use in order to connect to the internet. For all intents and purposes, this is the wi-fi internet we all know and love;
- Mobile wireless: This category encompasses all the wireless devices aboard a vehicle. Think car cell phones, or automatic emergency systems on electric cars;
- Portable wireless: This basically refers to any kind of wireless device that uses batteries and does not belong to any of the first two categories; These are the mobile phones which we use; the tablets, laptops, smart glasses and smart watches;
- IR wireless: a somewhat outdated technology, the items which fall under “IR wireless” are the devices which transmit and receive data by using infrared radiation. While this technology is perfectly safe to use (the infrared radiation does not affect the human body in any way), it is also largely useless due to its heavily limited range and outdated control systems.
Whether we know it or not, we are always surrounded by wireless technology and wireless communication. Anywhere we are, there are internet, satellite tv, cell and radio connections.