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


The Shocking Commence and Achievements of Your Favourite Technologies

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Our physical retail and digital innovation exploration journey so significantly: 

Component 1 – We explored the humble beginnings of department retailers, supermarkets, and the very first use of a bar code in a actual physical store Portion 2 – We expanded our innovation journey to ecommerce, smartphones, and robots Part 3 -We shifted to reduction prevention technologies: income registers, CCTV cameras, and Electronic Article Surveillance Element 4 – Rapid soaring RFID, Self-checkouts, and the World wide web of Items (IoT) manufactured an visual appeal.

In this Section 5, we geo-find ourselves with GPS, go wi-fi with Wi-Fi, and turn into influencers on Social Media.

The First Use of GPS   

The World-wide Positioning Technique (GPS), as you could possibly have guessed, has their origin in house, the remaining frontier. In 1957, Russia introduced Sputnik, the initial prosperous area satellite. Experts at the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at John Hopkins College observing the bizarre radio indicators identified what grew to become identified as the Doppler Impact.

“Utilizing the Sputnik’s Doppler Result allowed the experts to use radio signals to observe the movement of the satellite from the floor. They later expanded the strategy: If a satellite location could be identified from the floor by means of the frequency shift of its radio signal, then the area of a receiver on the ground could be determined by its distance from a satellite.”

In 1958, the US Protection Section Advanced Exploration Projects (ARPA) utilized the theory of the Doppler Effect to build Transit, the world’s first world satellite navigation process.

By 1968, 36 satellites were being operational with Transit technologies which significantly improved spot accuracy and ended up credited with strengthening the precision of the maps of the earth. In 1996, US Protection Section changed Transit with the recent World-wide Positioning System (GPS).

Quick ahead to 2021 when just in United states of america there are now more than 900 million GPS receivers in use. “You’ll locate them in cellphones, business vans and buses, and railroads. Much more than 100 million automobiles have navigation methods. Ships, planes and drones use GPS for navigation. Vans use GPS not only for location solutions but also for digital logging gadgets, which display whether or not drivers have been driving for way too prolonged and receiving sleepy. Unexpected emergency responders use GPS relatively than maps to locate incident web pages and get folks to the healthcare facility. You never want to be waiting around for the firetruck or ambulance when GPS is hacked or disrupted.”


Above graphic points to some of the locations that handle the 30 operational GPS satellites functions in room as of April 12, 2022. With accuracy now at roughly 2 meters (6.5 toes), we are all hooked on GPS as our discover every little thing technological know-how.

Initial Use of Wi-Fi

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

Intriguing that I share a history with the employer of Hayes. The 1997 ruling “sparked the curiosity of his then-employer NCR, which recognized that a wi-fi conventional would enable the corporation, and its retailer buyers, develop a radio url among NCR money registers and back-close mainframes. The radio link would make connecting the techniques bodily less difficult, and eliminate the need to fiddle with proprietary protocols.”

According to the Wi-fi Broadband Alliance, Wi-Fi nowadays is offering significant good economic, social, and environmental contributions which go on to exceed anticipations.


My favored from above, smartphones and IoT equipment with Wi-Fi 6 have up to 67% reduce power intake with electricity-preserving functions. The pandemic was a dramatic accelerator for Wi-Fi utilization and wi-fi and the World-wide-web are permanently joined.

As above Wi-fi Broadband Alliance infographic points out, a great deal extra requires to be completed to unify the earth by way of electronic connectivity that Wi-Fi permits.

Initial Use of Social Media

Is there a Kevin Bacon, the actor, to be found in the historical past of social media? Yes, if you take into consideration that Six Degrees was the very first online social media web-site.  

“Six Degrees is named right after the “six degrees of separation” idea, which states that everybody in the planet is connected to anyone else by no a lot more than six degrees of separation. This is usually identified as the “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” idea, though Kevin Bacon himself is irrelevant to the phenomenon.”

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

In fast succession, here is what adopted:


  • (12 months 2000) – Invited users to post photographs of them selves so other could charge attractiveness. Web page was marketed a several moments and tried to occur back again in 2014 as a activity. Rumored to have influenced the creators of Fb and YouTube.
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  • Friendster (2002) – Originally a dating web site, but it’s reputation and incapacity of company to answer led to user decrease.
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  • Myspace (2003) – Turned to go to web page for Friendster for thousands and thousands of teenagers and internet site arrived at 25 tens of millions utilizes  in 2005 when it was offered to NewsCorp in which it began its decline.
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  • The latest leaders arrive (2003-2005) – Joined-in appeared in 2003. Facebook was established in 2004 and YouTube visually made its entrance in 2005 with this initial movie which as of this day has practically 233 million views.
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Speedy ahead to 2022 and an astounding 4.62 billion people today are now social media consumers worldwide.


Just over the earlier calendar year, social media has included 1 million new consumers for each working day or around 13.5 new people just about every solitary second. Ponder wherever we devote our time on social media?


Expanded additional effortless connectivity via GPS and Wi-Fi accelerated worldwide digital communications as a result of new platforms such as social media. Are we delighted with the result? Where do we assume all this will just take us next?


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