By Kevin Beale
Someday, in the not so distant future, schoolchildren will read about the history of telecommunications and computing. They will read about how homes once were connected to the phone company, the cable TV company, and even the power company, by separate dedicated wires.
The world of wires is rapidly disappearing. We are breaking free from the wire tethers that keep us in our offices and limit our productivity as we move throughout our days. We are using smartphones, laptops, and tablets to access our applications, emails, files, and network resources no matter where we are.
We can work from home while sitting in our most comfortable easy chairs. We can take notes in meetings without writing them on pads of paper and then typing them into our computers when we get back to our offices. Our stacks and file cabinets full of paper are disappearing.
They will read about how our offices used to be connected to the corporate PBX and to the local area network by other sets of wires. They will read about how we had to plug in our laptops, tablets, and cell phones overnight to charge their batteries. They will be amazed at how we could function while being tied down like this.
With smartphone apps we are accessing on-call schedules, updating our statuses, and sending and receiving pages on our smartphones and tablets. When we receive pages, we are able to reply to the person sending the page, letting them know if we are able to respond or if they need to find another resource. What a concept, responding to a page and letting the person know we have received it. No more sitting by a phone and waiting for a return call. Who would have thought it would someday be this easy?
The final step in breaking free from our wires will be the deployment of wireless power. Wireless charging pads already are available for many of our smartphones and tablets. Imagine walking into your office or a hotel room and setting your phone on a charging pad. No more carrying chargers with us and replacing them when they get lost or burn out from overuse.
Someday we won’t need to plug our computers, our lighting, and our appliances into wall outlets. Our AC power will be provided wirelessly, just as our voice and network communications are now.
We are in the midst of a major shift in how we live and work. We will have less stress and will be more productive. We will be more responsive and will provide better service to our customers. We need only to embrace the change, break free from all those wires, and enjoy the ride.
Kevin Beale is director of software research and development for Amtelco.
[From the December 2011/January 2012 issue of AnswerStat magazine]