April 21, 2024


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

5 min read
Then and Now: GPS, Wi-Fi, and Social Media


The Shocking Commence and Good results of Your Preferred Systems

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Our physical retail and electronic innovation exploration journey so far: 

Aspect 1 – We explored the humble beginnings of office merchants, supermarkets, and the first use of a bar code in a physical store Portion 2 – We expanded our innovation journey to ecommerce, smartphones, and robots Portion 3 -We shifted to loss avoidance technologies: cash registers, CCTV cameras, and Digital Short article Surveillance Aspect 4 – Quick rising RFID, Self-checkouts, and the Net of Things (IoT) built an physical appearance.

In this Aspect 5, we geo-find ourselves with GPS, go wireless with Wi-Fi, and become influencers on Social Media.

The Initial Use of GPS   

The World-wide Positioning Program (GPS), as you might have guessed, has their origin in room, the closing frontier. In 1957, Russia released Sputnik, the first thriving room satellite. Researchers at the Used Physics Laboratory (APL) at John Hopkins University observing the odd radio indicators found out what grew to become identified as the Doppler Effect.

“Utilizing the Sputnik’s Doppler Effect allowed the scientists to use radio signals to track the motion of the satellite from the ground. They later on expanded the thought: If a satellite site could be decided from the ground by way of the frequency shift of its radio signal, then the place of a receiver on the floor could be established by its distance from a satellite.”

In 1958, the US Protection Division State-of-the-art Investigate Tasks (ARPA) used the principle of the Doppler Result to produce Transit, the world’s first world-wide satellite navigation technique.

By 1968, 36 satellites have been operational with Transit technology which substantially improved area precision and have been credited with improving upon the accuracy of the maps of the earth. In 1996, US Defense Division replaced Transit with the recent World Positioning Process (GPS).

Rapid ahead to 2021 when just in United states there are now more than 900 million GPS receivers in use. “You’ll come across them in cellphones, professional vans and buses, and railroads. Much more than 100 million automobiles have navigation systems. Ships, planes and drones use GPS for navigation. Vans use GPS not only for place services but also for digital logging units, which demonstrate no matter whether motorists have been driving for much too extended and finding sleepy. Unexpected emergency responders use GPS somewhat than maps to find accident internet sites and get people today to the clinic. You really do not want to be waiting for the firetruck or ambulance when GPS is hacked or disrupted.”


Above picture points to some of the destinations that regulate the 30 operational GPS satellites functions in house as of April 12, 2022. With accuracy now at roughly 2 meters (6.5 feet), we are all hooked on GPS as our locate everything engineering.

Initially 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 normal that would function in the frequency spectrum opened up in 1985 by the United states of america Federal Communications Fee.

Intriguing 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 wi-fi typical would enable the enterprise, and its retailer prospects, make a radio hyperlink among NCR income registers and again-end mainframes. The radio hyperlink would make connecting the methods physically simpler, and remove the need to have to fiddle with proprietary protocols.”

According to the Wireless Broadband Alliance, Wi-Fi these days is providing considerable good financial, social, and environmental contributions which proceed to exceed anticipations.


My favorite from over, smartphones and IoT units with Wi-Fi 6 have up to 67% lower power usage with energy-saving functions. The pandemic was a remarkable accelerator for Wi-Fi utilization and wi-fi and the Online are for good connected.

As above Wireless Broadband Alliance infographic points out, much additional requirements to be finished to unify the planet via electronic connectivity that Wi-Fi permits.

Initially Use of Social Media

Is there a Kevin Bacon, the actor, to be observed in the heritage of social media? Yes, if you look at that 6 Levels was the first on the internet social media web site.  

“Six Levels is named immediately after the “6 degrees of separation” idea, which states that absolutely everyone in the environment is connected to every person else by no a lot more than 6 levels of separation. This is generally termed the “Six Levels of Kevin Bacon” idea, despite the fact that Kevin Bacon himself is irrelevant to the phenomenon.”

Began in 1997, 6 Levels at its peak experienced 3.5 million buyers. It was purchased by YouthStream Media Networks in 1999 for $125 million, but it shot down in 2001.

In fast succession, right here is what adopted:


  • AmIHotorNot.com (Year 2000) – Invited consumers to submit pictures of them selves so other could rate attractiveness. Site was marketed a several instances and tried out to appear again in 2014 as a activity. Rumored to have influenced the creators of Fb and YouTube.
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  • Friendster (2002) – Originally a relationship web site, but it’s level of popularity and inability of firm to react led to person drop.
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  • Myspace (2003) – Became to go to web site for Friendster for millions of teens and web-site attained 25 thousands and thousands utilizes  in 2005 when it was marketed to NewsCorp wherever it begun its decline.
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  • The existing leaders get there (2003-2005) – Joined-in appeared in 2003. Fb was founded in 2004 and YouTube visually produced its entrance in 2005 with this very first movie which as of this day has virtually 233 million views.
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Quickly forward to 2022 and an astounding 4.62 billion men and women are now social media users worldwide.


Just above the past calendar year, social media has included one particular million new end users for each working day or around 13.5 new users every one next. Surprise exactly where we commit our time on social media?


Expanded more effortless connectivity by GPS and Wi-Fi accelerated world electronic communications by new platforms these types of as social media. Are we happy with the result? Exactly where do we assume all this will just take us next?


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