Information is the basis of all knowledge. The more information you retain, the greater your knowledge is on that particular subject. It is what keeps us enlightened on history, weather, current events, and with each other. Through the transfer of information one civilization can help another with breakthroughs in medicine and technology. It can connect us with friends and family from across the world, or connect us to the past with more and more finding of historic documentation.
The most primitive of information transfer is also the best form of advertisement- word of mouth. The transfer of info from a speaker to a receiver and then feedback back to the speaker who is know the receiver. It wasn’t until around 20,000 years before the birth of Christ that people began recording this information that we had been passing along to each other for centuries. The first records kept were through cave paintings found all over the word. Specifically, the first found were in Altamira, Spain and Lascaux, France (1, pg.1). Through this first form of info transfer cavemen could now keep records of past events by telling stories about what to do and what not to do to survive. Thousands of years later the Sumerians began recording on wet clay, the Egyptians used papyrus, and the Chinese made paper from rags (2, A). Then in 60 B.C. the Greeks began folding sheets of paper and binding them together, which we now call, books. It was around 1450 that the world would truly change. Johann Gutenberg an inventor from Mainz, Germany would forever change world communication with the creation of the first moveable metal-type printing press (2,B). Now dozens of books could be printed in the hundreds allowing the world to once again communicate information at a more rapid pace.
Since the dawn of the printing press information transfer has built up to such a speed that now 500 years after its birth the idea of print is becoming a thing of the past. We have progressed so fast in the past hundred years that print is slowly becoming obsolete now that we have entered “The Digital Age”. No longer does a person have to wait for the newest Macy’s Catalog to show up at their front door before they can put in their orders, then wait for it to mail out, and then the order be processed. With the creation of computers all digital information could be transferred from the farthest reaches of the Earth in a matter of seconds. Now twenty years after its creation it has been shrunk down to and combined with another very popular instrument of info transfer- the portable telephone. Now called cell phones or the newly invented smart phones & tablets, the average person can do all of their information transfer from the push of a button in their hands. Talking to one another has now become one of the many things a person can do on a phone along with texting, bill paying and weather check ups. Shopping on cellphones and portable tablets jumped to 5% of online sales in November of 2010 compared to 2009 where mobile shopping sales were too small to measure says Corematics, an e-commerce measurement service owned by I.B.M (4, pg.1). Tiffany English of Hoboken, NJ bought her mother’s Christmas gift, a painting, and two sets of barbeque tools while standing on line in a Bed, Bath and Beyond (4, pg. 2). Nothing is off limits to what can be purchased online. Steve Yankovich, Ebay’s Vice-President for mobile stated that an average of four Ferrari’s were bought a month on cell phones (4, pg.2). Even the most sacred of jewels can be purchased with the push of an index finger. Blue Nile, an e-commerce jewelry store had their mobile revenue go up six times in February or 2011 from what it was in February of 2010 (4, pg. 2).
The speed of information transfer is not just restricted to that of shopping, every business in the world now running is connected to the same world wide web. It allows today’s professionals to stay connected with work even when they are at home. Perry Blacher, chief executive of the social investing firm Convestor, was able to join in a board teleconference while attending a christening in England (3, pg.1). The phenomenon of cell phones started in the eighties with simple conversations on an analog phone and grew into a world of employees using their new mobile devices to connect with corporate e-mail, applications and data (3, pg1).
Information transfers has hit yet another high peak as we enter a new decade. No longer are we to gain information from reading books on paper. Now with the invention of the tablet, books can be downloaded cutting out the physical act to acquiring the book. Evan Ratliff, is a co-founder of The Atavist; a new digital publishing house which sells and commissions nonfiction articles written exclusively for distribution on smartphones, e-readers and tablets (5). They are a new company that is adapting to this new change of information flow but in a newer way, they are taking it to the next level. Mr. Ratliff says “ success depends on thinking beyond a ‘one to one’ transition from book to e-book and doing more than replacing paper with pixels”. The Atavist integrates tools into the text, for example interactive timelines and character biographies to help a reader quickly find his/her place without spoiling the plots (5).
It seems hard to think that we can go any further with all this technology but the future awaits. We may have successfully minimized our electronic information devices to a comfortable size but the flow of that information is only going to get better. A majority of PC’s may soon be replaced as the growing trend of smartphones takes over. In June 2010, DoCoMo offered Toshiba an advanced Qualcomm chip for their T-01A- a super fast smartphone. With this type of processor smartphones will have full apps like Adobe Flash and Photoshop (6, pg. 1). Nokia released the N900, which they call a mobile computer. It runs on a Linux OS and can multitask as well as a MacBook. In the gaming industry smartphones already have the graphics quality of Xbox or PlayStation 3’s. Users will not only be able to play their mobile games online but will be able to connect with other players in multiplayers shooters. Allowing up to 32 people to talk and play games with each other from anywhere in the world.
Technology is expanding around the world giving us more freedom to connect and communicate. All of which has been done through the exchange of information. With information passed digitally from one devices to another, teaching us about newer devices which can transfer that same information even faster, our future will become an ever expanding world where nothing, not facts, fiction or opinion can’t be accessed at light speed with the click of a button.
1) “A Brief History of Cave Paintings.” Beacon Learning Center, 2004. Web. <http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/documents/1137_01.pdf>.
2) Butler, Jeremy. “A History of Information Technology and Systems.” Concepts in New Media, 13 July 1998. Web. <http://www.tcf.ua.edu/AZ/ITHistoryOutline.htm>.
3) Meece, Mickey. “Who’s Your Boss, You or Your Gadget?.” New York Times 16 Feb. 2011, Weekend Print.
4) Cain Miller, Claire & Kopytoff, Verne G. “Santa via Cellphone.” New York Times 18 Feb. 2011, Weekend Print.
5) Wortham, Jenna. “Shorter E-Books for Smaller Devices.” New York Times 13 Feb. 2011, WeekendPrint.
6) Brandon, John. “The Future of Smartphones: 2010-2015 and Beyond .” Digital Trends 16 Feb. 2011: 2. Web. <http://www.digitaltrends.com/features/the-future-of-smartphones-2010-2015-and-beyond/>.