To celebrate National Technology Day, our Rahi Engineers are reflecting on some of the major technical advances in history! From the first electronic computer to the beginning of artificial intelligence, technology is constantly developing.
Here is a recap over some of the most defining moments in history.
1800’s – The Computer
The first computer that resembles our present-day machines was the Analytical Engine, invented by Charles Babbage between 1833 and 1871. After the Analytical Engine was invented, physicist John Atanasoff designed the first electronic digital computer in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
1857 – Sound Recording
France was a hot spot for sound in the 19th century. In 1857, French man Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville invented a device for recording sound which he named the ‘Phonautograph’. Although, the problem with the phonautograph was that it did not play back recordings. Twenty years later in 1877, French man Charles Cross figured out how to record sound onto a cylinder. But at the same time, in 1877, inventor Thomas Edison beat him to it when he created a practical sound recording device called the ‘mechanical phonograph cylinder’.
Early 1900’s –Visual Recording
The conception of visual recording was first thought of by John Logie Baird in the early 1900s. Baird’s inspiration stemmed from the ‘Nipkow Disk’, a mechanical device that turns images into scan lines. Baird combined this with his own electronic scanning technology. This was the beginning of the video camera we use today.
The 40’s -Transistor
In 1947, the American physicists John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley gave a demonstration of the first point-contact transistor, a small semiconductor device that changed the world. They received the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for their achievement.
The 50’s – Artificial intelligence
Norbert Wiener had a significant influence on the development of artificial intelligence. He was one of the first to theorise that all intelligent behavior was the result of feedback mechanisms. Following Wieners discovery formed the creation of ‘The Logic Theorist’ in 1955, designed by Newell and Simon. Which is considered the first AI program. However, the term artificial intelligence was not coined until the mid-1950s by John McCarthy, he defined it as “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines”.
The 60’s – Cloud Computing
In the 1960’s, cloud computing was invented by Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider who was often referred to as the ‘father of the internet’. Robnett Licklider was working on ARPANET, to connect people and data from anywhere at any time.
The 80’s – World Wide Web
In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web (www). Fun fact: The Web was originally developed so that scientists could share information on a global spectrum.
The 90’s – The IoT and WIFI (wireless network)
In 1990, John Romkey created a toaster that could be turned on and off using the internet for October 89′ INTEROP conference; bringing us the first Internet of Things device. WiFi was invented and available for the public in 1997, when a committee called 802.11 was created. This led to the creation of IEEE802. 11, which is a set of standards that define communication for Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs).
The 2000’s were quite possibly one of the most defining decades of technological firsts. We were introduced to smartphones that connect us to the world from the tip of our fingers to social media channels. These were a culmination of the advances made over many decades from some of the world’s greatest minds.
As we enter 2020, Rahi Systems is excited to see what the future holds and we hope you enjoyed a look back over some of the most pivotal technological advances throughout history.
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