Wireless technology has come a long way since 1880 when Alexander Graham Bell and Sumner Tainter invented the photophone. The photophone was an early wireless telephone device that transmitted sound over a beam of light. Unlike the photophone, modern wireless technology relies on the use of radio frequency signals. Wireless technology makes it possible for consumers worldwide to use several types of devices.
The modern world has several type of wireless devices that allow humans to communicate. The singer at the last concert you attended probably sang into a wireless microphone. Your children might spend hours running around playing with walkie-talkies. Perhaps the most widely used of all wireless communications devices is the cell phone. It's almost impossible to go anywhere in America without seeing at least one person using a cell phone. However, wireless communication first received worldwide recognition in 1949 when Al Gross, the inventor of the walkie-talkie, invented the telephone pager. A telephone pager has a wireless receiver inside that responds to certain signals. When a person dials the pager number, whomever is wearing the pager hears a sound.
Computers play an important role in modern society. You see computers in schools, homes and business establishments. When it comes to wireless devices, many of them fit into the computer-peripheral category. A computer peripheral is a device made for a computer, but it's not a part of the computer. A wireless printer is an example of a wireless computer peripheral. It works like a traditional printer, except you print without having to physically connect the printer to the computer. Other wireless computer peripherals include the wireless keyboard and mouse.
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Wireless devices aren't only for computers and communications. You probably use several wireless household items everyday. Most American households have at least one television remote control. If you have a DVD player or cable box, those usually have a remote control as well. You might even have a remote garage door opener which, according to Montclair State University, is one of the oldest wireless devices in common use. Some parents also use wireless baby monitors, which make it possible to monitor activity in a child's room from a distance.
Wireless technology makes life easier in many ways. However, it also poses a threat in some situations. According to Internal Auditor, wireless technology makes use of a broadcast medium. Anyone with the proper device can intercept information you might think is private. For example, some households have wireless networks that allow multiple computers to share one Internet connection. If the network isn't password-protected, any computer within range with wireless connectivity can connect to your network.