Voice Over IP (VOIP)

Voice Over IP (VOIP) transmits voice calls over the internet, allowing people to speak to one another. Invented in 1995, VOIP came about after countless seemingly more complex inventions including web-based video. Interestingly, the likely reason for the late invention date is incentives. Businesses believed that the internet would work well for broadcasting, displacing other […]

Visual Web Browser

Tim Berners-Lee original world wide web was entirely text-based, mainly used to link textual papers to one another. Mosaic Marc Andreesen, then a student at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, extended Andreesen’s HTML. Andreesen extended the original HTML, adding components describing not only the contents of a page but also how it should be laid […]

Streaming Video

Early streaming video was more science experiment than entertainment. Video over the internet wouldn’t become common for almost 20 more years after the first stream. Background However, computer companies, thinking about the early Internet, were interested in using it for television. These early transmissions required expensive and complicated computers and extremely expensive Internet connections to […]

Smartphone

In 1909, Nicola Tesla described what eventually would be a smartphone. They’ve existed in various forms for many years. History IBM invented a phone called the Angler in 1992 with PDA like functions. Subsequently, they released a commercial version in 1994. The term “smartphone” first appears in 1995 describing AT&T’s PhoneWriter Communicator. Eventually, more phones […]

Digital Mobile Phone

Digital mobile phones vastly reduce the cost of mobile phones by enabling many more phones to utilize the same number of towers. After the successful launch of analog mobile phones, the need for a digital standard quickly became apparent. Digital phones are smaller, use less power, and require fewer towers. There are two mobile digital […]

World Wide Web

Tim Berners-Lee worked at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Background The internet was about 20 years old and connected many computers. However, once connected between computers, users searched for the material, an oftentimes odious task. Furthermore, many computers required logins. Think of the pre-web internet as a series of libraries without central directories. […]

Mass Market Broadband Internet (DSL & Cable Modems)

Broadband definitions continually change, but in 2017 the US definition of broadband is 25Mbps (megabytes per second) downstream and 3Mbps upstream. This is fast enough to stream music, movies, web surf, and read blurbs on innowiki. Background Early internet users used slow dial-up modems. The last mass-produced dial-up model ran at 56Kbps, about 1/450th the […]

Mobile Phone

Mobile phones allow calls from anywhere that’s within range of a tower. They vastly increase productivity, convenience, lower the risk of a missed call, and they’re fun. Mobile phones work by beaming voice (and, later, data) to a tower, seamlessly switching from tower-to-tower as the person moves. Cooper Creates the Mobile Phone Battery-operated gadget maker […]

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers. They were supposed to be more convenient and simpler than carrying paper. Most significantly, and the reason they are a major invention, is their influence as a bridge to the smartphone. David Potter created the Psion Organizer in 1984 featuring 2K or RAM in a handheld (sort of […]