4 Smartphone Technologies We Use Every day and the People Who Invented Them
A smartphone is a pocket-sized device that consists of many cutting-edge technologies. We use the compact device every day for various purposes. From watching videos, chatting with friends and family, to browsing the internet, we use smartphones all the time.
But have you ever thought about how you can use a particular technology in such a compact device? Or who were the people behind these technologies? Well, in this article, I will be answering these questions for you.
I get fascinated as to how these smartphones have so many awesome features that make our lives easier. It's because of some of the most hard-working scientists and engineers who developed such technologies by sacrificing their days and nights.
So, let’s look at these technologies and the people who invented them one by one:
1. Bluetooth Technology
Bluetooth is a wireless technology that lets you connect two devices wirelessly. It was invented by a Dutch engineer Dr. Jaap Haartsen in 1994 while working for Ericsson. The name ‘Bluetooth’ was derived from a tenth-century king Herald Blatant (Bluetooth in English), who united people from different tribes.
Today, you might not be using it anymore for file sharing, but it cannot be replaced just yet. These days, we use to pair wireless headphones, speakers, hands-free, mouse, and other accessories.
With Bluetooth wireless technology, you can even access the internet from your smartphone to desktop using the ‘Bluetooth Tethering.’ The typical Bluetooth range varies from less than ten meters to up to 100 meters (100 – 1,000 feet).
- Who: Dr. Jaap Haartsen
- When: 1994
2. Wi-Fi Internet Technology
Wi-Fi technology is something that we extensively use in our everyday lives. With this wireless tech, one can connect a device to the available Wi-Fi network and access the internet. It is the abbreviation for ‘wireless fidelity.’
The popular wireless technology works through radio waves and is developed by a team of engineers. They were Dr. John O’Sullivan, Diethelm Ostry, Graham Daniels, Terence Percival, and John Deane.
Vic Hayes from the Delft University of Technology is called the “father of Wi-Fi.”
It’s because he chaired the IEEE 802.11 Standards Group for Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). Today, Wi-Fi is used in various consumer technology and gadgets, including smart devices and surveillance cameras.
- Who: Dr. John O’Sullivan, Diethelm Ostry, Graham Daniels, Terence Percival, and John Deane
- When: Around the 1980s
Near-field communication, or NFC in short, is a wireless technology that allows the exchange of data between two devices in a very short range, about 4 cm or less. To transfer the data to another NFC-enabled device, you have to be close enough to it.
At times, you need to stick the devices together to send and receive files successfully. But who was the person that developed this cool technology and what else can we do with this tech? Let’s find out below.
NFC came into existence in the early 1980s. It first emerged in the form of an RFID (radio frequency identification) tag. British designer Charles Walton was the person who invented this wireless technology and got its patent in the year 1983. Later on, in 2002, Sony and NXP Semiconductors launched the NFC technology, inspired by RFID.
Today, NFC is used to make contactless payments via an NFC-enabled terminal. Many companies are also offering their tap and pay services, such as Samsung Pay, Google Pay, etc.
- Who: Charles Walton
- When: 1983
Do you have NFC on your smartphone?
4. Augmented Reality (AR)
Computer scientist Ivan Sutherland invented the first AR technology in the year 1968 at Harvard University. Known as the father of computer graphics, Ivan introduced the head-mounted display while researching with his students. I know this technology is not explicitly for smartphones, but it deserves to be on the list.
AR is a technology that combines both real and virtual world and renders in interactive 3D visuals in real-time. Due to the combination of the real and virtual world, it is sometimes also referred to as mixed reality. As time passed, AR got better with the latest innovations and research done by high-tech companies and institutions.
Today, technology is used in many industries,
such as medical training, retail, design and modeling, logistics, and entertainment.
AR glass is the device that allows you to experience the AR in real-time. As technology is getting better every day, AR glass is becoming more sleek, stylish, and comfortable.
- Who: Ivan Sutherland and his students
- When: 1968
I know the smartphones we use every day has many more fascinating features and technologies. But covering all of them together in an article might not be feasible. Therefore, I choose only these four technologies.
In today’s world, it’s important to know the basic information about how the technology works and the people behind it as much as actually using it. This was the reason I decided to write this article.
I hope that you’ve article informative and that you get to know more about the technology you use on your smartphone. Do let me know what technology you are most fascinated about on your smartphone in the comments below.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Nikhil Sharma