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

Wilton Vinck

The Stunning Begin and Results of Your Most loved Systems

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Our actual physical retail and electronic innovation exploration journey so significantly: 

Section 1 – We explored the humble beginnings of department outlets, supermarkets, and the 1st use of a bar code in a actual physical store Part 2 – We expanded our innovation journey to ecommerce, smartphones, and robots Part 3 -We shifted to decline prevention systems: money registers, CCTV cameras, and Electronic Posting Surveillance Part 4 – Quickly climbing RFID, Self-checkouts, and the Web of Points (IoT) built an physical appearance.

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

The Initial Use of GPS   

The Worldwide Positioning System (GPS), as you may have guessed, has their origin in place, the last frontier. In 1957, Russia released Sputnik, the 1st successful area satellite. Scientists at the Used Physics Laboratory (APL) at John Hopkins College observing the peculiar radio indicators found what turned regarded as the Doppler Result.

“Utilizing the Sputnik’s Doppler Effect allowed the experts to use radio alerts to observe the motion of the satellite from the floor. They afterwards expanded the thought: If a satellite location could be decided from the floor by using the frequency change of its radio signal, then the locale of a receiver on the floor could be decided by its length from a satellite.”

In 1958, the US Protection Division Innovative Exploration Jobs (ARPA) applied the principle of the Doppler Impact to produce Transit, the world’s initial world wide satellite navigation program.

By 1968, 36 satellites have been operational with Transit technology which radically enhanced place precision and had been credited with enhancing the precision of the maps of the earth. In 1996, US Defense Department changed Transit with the current Worldwide Positioning Method (GPS).

Speedy forward to 2021 when just in Usa there are now much more than 900 million GPS receivers in use. “You’ll come across them in cellphones, commercial vehicles and buses, and railroads. Much more than 100 million cars have navigation methods. Ships, planes and drones use GPS for navigation. Trucks use GPS not only for locale products and services but also for digital logging products, which show regardless of whether motorists have been driving for far too long and finding sleepy. Emergency responders use GPS relatively than maps to track down accident web pages and get persons to the medical center. You really do not want to be waiting for the firetruck or ambulance when GPS is hacked or disrupted.”


Above image points to some of the sites that management the 30 operational GPS satellites functions in house as of April 12, 2022. With precision now at roughly 2 meters (6.5 feet), we are all hooked on GPS as our obtain every little thing engineering.

Very first Use of Wi-Fi

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

Appealing that I share a heritage with the employer of Hayes. The 1997 ruling “sparked the interest of his then-employer NCR, which understood that a wireless standard would allow the enterprise, and its retailer customers, build a radio website link involving NCR money registers and back again-stop mainframes. The radio backlink would make connecting the methods physically less complicated, and get rid of the want to fiddle with proprietary protocols.”

In accordance to the Wireless Broadband Alliance, Wi-Fi nowadays is delivering considerable constructive financial, social, and environmental contributions which go on to exceed expectations.


My favorite from earlier mentioned, smartphones and IoT units with Wi-Fi 6 have up to 67% lower power use with ability-conserving capabilities. The pandemic was a dramatic accelerator for Wi-Fi utilization and wi-fi and the Web are for good joined.

As above Wireless Broadband Alliance infographic factors out, substantially more demands to be carried out to unify the environment by digital connectivity that Wi-Fi permits.

First Use of Social Media

Is there a Kevin Bacon, the actor, to be uncovered in the background of social media? Yes, if you contemplate that Six Degrees was the initially online social media website.  

“Six Levels is named following the “six levels of separation” concept, which states that every person in the globe is linked to absolutely everyone else by no additional than six degrees of separation. This is often termed the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” idea, although Kevin Bacon himself is irrelevant to the phenomenon.”

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

In fast succession, in this article is what adopted:


  • (Year 2000) – Invited people to submit images of themselves so other could rate attractiveness. Internet site was bought a several situations and tried to occur back in 2014 as a activity. Rumored to have motivated the creators of Fb and YouTube.
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  • Friendster (2002) – At first a relationship internet site, but it’s reputation and lack of ability of enterprise to reply led to consumer drop.
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  • Myspace (2003) – Turned to go to web site for Friendster for millions of teens and web-site reached 25 tens of millions uses  in 2005 when it was offered to NewsCorp wherever it started off its decrease.
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  • The current leaders arrive (2003-2005) – Linked-in appeared in 2003. Fb was established in 2004 and YouTube visually produced its entrance in 2005 with this initially movie which as of this day has approximately 233 million sights.
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Rapidly ahead to 2022 and an amazing 4.62 billion folks are now social media users worldwide.


Just about the earlier calendar year, social media has added a single million new end users for every working day or roughly 13.5 new customers every single single 2nd. Question exactly where we expend our time on social media?


Expanded extra effortless connectivity via GPS and Wi-Fi accelerated world electronic communications via new platforms these types of as social media. Are we pleased with the outcome? Where by do we feel all this will just take us subsequent?

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