Then and Now: GPS, Wi-Fi, and Social Media

ByDavid L. Juliano

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The Astonishing Start out and Accomplishment of Your Most loved Technologies

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Our actual physical retail and digital innovation exploration journey so considerably: 

Component 1 – We explored the humble beginnings of office suppliers, supermarkets, and the initial use of a bar code in a bodily store Element 2 – We expanded our innovation journey to ecommerce, smartphones, and robots Aspect 3 -We shifted to decline prevention technologies: dollars registers, CCTV cameras, and Digital Short article Surveillance Part 4 – Quick climbing RFID, Self-checkouts, and the Online of Factors (IoT) made an look.

In this Portion 5, we geo-locate ourselves with GPS, go wireless with Wi-Fi, and turn out to be influencers on Social Media.

The First Use of GPS   

The Global Positioning Process (GPS), as you could have guessed, has their origin in place, the last frontier. In 1957, Russia launched Sputnik, the initially prosperous area satellite. Researchers at the Utilized Physics Laboratory (APL) at John Hopkins University observing the odd radio alerts found what turned identified as the Doppler Result.

“Utilizing the Sputnik’s Doppler Effect allowed the experts to use radio signals to keep track of the movement of the satellite from the floor. They afterwards expanded the plan: If a satellite area could be identified from the ground through the frequency change of its radio sign, then the location of a receiver on the floor could be decided by its distance from a satellite.”

In 1958, the US Defense Office Superior Analysis Tasks (ARPA) applied the basic principle of the Doppler Influence to produce Transit, the world’s initially international satellite navigation program.

By 1968, 36 satellites have been operational with Transit technology which significantly enhanced area accuracy and had been credited with improving upon the accuracy of the maps of the earth. In 1996, US Defense Section changed Transit with the present World Positioning Procedure (GPS).

Quickly ahead to 2021 when just in United states of america there are now more than 900 million GPS receivers in use. “You’ll uncover them in cellphones, industrial vans and buses, and railroads. A lot more than 100 million vehicles have navigation units. Ships, planes and drones use GPS for navigation. Trucks use GPS not only for locale expert services but also for digital logging devices, which exhibit no matter whether motorists have been driving for also prolonged and receiving sleepy. Emergency responders use GPS somewhat than maps to locate incident web pages and get people today to the healthcare facility. You don’t want to be waiting around for the firetruck or ambulance when GPS is hacked or disrupted.”


Above picture points to some of the destinations that control the 30 operational GPS satellites functions in space as of April 12, 2022. With precision now at roughly 2 meters (6.5 toes), we are all hooked on GPS as our find every little thing engineering.

First Use of Wi-Fi

The “Father of Wi-Fi” was Vic Hayes who was the very first chair of the IEEE 802.11 team which in 1997 finalized the wi-fi normal that would function in the frequency spectrum opened up in 1985 by the Usa Federal Communications Fee.

Attention-grabbing that I share a record with the employer of Hayes. The 1997 ruling “sparked the desire of his then-employer NCR, which realized that a wireless normal would permit the company, and its retailer consumers, produce a radio link among NCR dollars registers and again-finish mainframes. The radio connection would make connecting the programs physically simpler, and eradicate the need to fiddle with proprietary protocols.”

In accordance to the Wi-fi Broadband Alliance, Wi-Fi now is providing substantial favourable economic, social, and environmental contributions which carry on to exceed expectations.


My favored from higher than, smartphones and IoT gadgets with Wi-Fi 6 have up to 67% decrease ability usage with electricity-conserving capabilities. The pandemic was a remarkable accelerator for Wi-Fi usage and wireless and the Internet are endlessly linked.

As above Wireless Broadband Alliance infographic factors out, significantly a lot more requirements to be done to unify the world by way of electronic connectivity that Wi-Fi enables.

Initially Use of Social Media

Is there a Kevin Bacon, the actor, to be uncovered in the background of social media? Yes, if you look at that 6 Degrees was the to start with on-line social media web page.  

“Six Degrees is named right after the “6 levels of separation” concept, which states that everybody in the world is related to every person else by no a lot more than 6 levels of separation. This is normally referred to as the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” concept, although Kevin Bacon himself is irrelevant to the phenomenon.”

Begun in 1997, 6 Degrees at its peak experienced 3.5 million consumers. It was bought by YouthStream Media Networks in 1999 for $125 million, but it shot down in 2001.

In fast succession, here is what followed:


  • (Year 2000) – Invited people to post photographs of themselves so other could fee attractiveness. Web-site was offered a several moments and tried to appear back in 2014 as a activity. Rumored to have motivated the creators of Facebook and YouTube.
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  • Friendster (2002) – Initially a relationship web-site, but it is level of popularity and lack of ability of firm to respond led to user drop.
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  • Myspace (2003) – Became to go to web-site for Friendster for millions of teens and internet site reached 25 thousands and thousands works by using  in 2005 when it was marketed to NewsCorp in which it started off its drop.
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  • The existing leaders arrive (2003-2005) – Linked-in appeared in 2003. Fb was established in 2004 and YouTube visually built its entrance in 2005 with this first video which as of this date has practically 233 million views.
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Fast ahead to 2022 and an awesome 4.62 billion persons are now social media end users worldwide.


Just above the previous yr, social media has additional just one million new customers for every day or around 13.5 new buyers each solitary next. Speculate in which we devote our time on social media?


Expanded far more handy connectivity by way of GPS and Wi-Fi accelerated world-wide electronic communications via new platforms such as social media. Are we joyful with the result? In which do we imagine all this will choose us following?


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