Our phones are ever changing

Over our lifetimes how have phone tech change, indeed looking beyond my own it has changed much. Nowadays of course we seem to be transitioning from the need to have one in every house to reliance upon mobile handsets. Looking back to changes in my own lifetime, we started with rotary dial wall-mounted phones, often with long handset lines so we could do other things whilst nattering away. In the early 1980s, here in Perth we say introduction of push button handsets, after which came introduction of generic push button handsets a few years later.

Introduction of mobile phones has certainly helped change our lives, though I don’t know we’d all be rushing out to buy those first generation briefcase-style quite so much as we currently do iPhone and Android handsets that are released on an annual basis. I recall as a university student purchasing a second-hand Motorola 2G mobile phone, I thought at the time I was cool as. Never mind, the battery in that phone lasted at best 4-hours so long as I didn’t call anyone, and 2.5 hours if I did; I replaced the phone with a Sony Ericsson a year later that was far better.

In 2007, Apple released the iPhone that helped change how we used mobile phones, turned these devices on their head as it were, and since then iPhone, Android and other devices (that have come and gone) have continued to evolve; could you imagine yourself living without one now?

Changes at work

In 1998, I began working full-time, having completed my Computing Degree the year prior. My desk came with a basic push button phone, no display (to warn me who was calling), I had to pick up the handset to find out who was at the other end. Executive staff were a tad more fortunate, they had phones with a single-line LCD display, positively high-tech in those days.

Phones changed little over the ensuing ten years, we played much during this time with our email communications tech during this time, swapping from Outlook to Novell Groupwise and back once more, sometimes mistakes are quickly realised! Once recovered from we then looked to how we talked, and phones got their first upgrade, we all got an LCD display with a few macro buttons, more if you were important.

About five years ago we went high-tech with CISCO phones, these came with video calling for on-campus calling, we now needed to ensure we were cognisant of behaviour during our calls, no longer could your roll those eyes should someone at the other end be annoying you. Some enjoyed this video calling functionality, whilst others found its introduction confronting and sought to disable.

Now, we move again to the next stage of communications, with our handsets to be nowhere in sight. As result of communication lines removal we’ve needed to change to internet-based communications at work by end-of-year, thus we are moving to Microsoft Teams-based calling. Gone are phones and introduced are wired headphones or wireless headsets that interface with the app; Monday sees introduction of our new means of communication. Some are also choosing to install Microsoft Teams on their mobiles, this will allow them to seamlessly transfer calls between devices, something you certainly can’t do presently.

I wonder where we may see ourselves in the future, how might we photograph our meals out were they to integrate our mobile tech within us? Tap our glasses? Blink? Yikes!

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