2013 Smartphones

A Brief History of Wireless Computing

2013 Smartphones

Over the last few decades, wireless computing has evolved significantly. It’s gone from you being constantly plugged in and avoiding any kind of commuting, to conveniently taking your computer anywhere.

As technology evolves, it’s important to look back at the milestones to notice the progress of the future.

Cordless Phones

Cordless phoneThe beginning of the wireless computing movement started with cordless phones. This originally started coming about in the 1970s. At that time, however, cordless phones were large and bulky. As time passed, they became smaller and more commonplace. In the 90s nearly everyone had a wireless phone in their homes. It wasn’t uncommon to have multiple phones in the home, with more than one handset.


Mobile Phones

iPhoneFrom this point, mobile phones started to emerge. By 1992, there were more 10 million mobile phones in use. These mobile phones were portable, small, and allowed people to communicate in many ways. The first mobile phones only allowed calls. However, it wasn’t long before text messaging was introduced.

From there, instant messaging on mobile phones wasn’t far behind. This technology allowed users to communicate instantly through messages in ways unlike ever before. It didn’t matter where you were, you could effectively communicate with others around the globe.


LaptopsAnother important step in the wireless computing technology movement has been laptops. Computers are an important part of our society today. They allow us to communicate, research, and more. With laptop computers, people are able to take all of their files and information on the go. Instead of being tied to one computer on one desk, they are now able to travel. This made jobs on-the-move easier, as well as traveling for business or pleasure.

Along with the laptop technology, we needed a way to improve our connection to the Internet. Because of laptop portability, people still felt tied down when they had to plug their computers in to a cable to be connected to the Internet. Wireless cards and companies such as CLEAR Wireless advanced the technology, connecting people to the Internet and the rest of the world.

Mobile Technology

Amazon Kindle Fire TabletToday our technology is taking us places we simply couldn’t have foreseen decades ago. The mobile and wireless movements continue to thrive. The wireless devices people use keep getting smaller, yet more powerful.

Consider tablets for a moment. These computer devices are wireless, and in some cases offer all the capabilities of a desktop computer. However, they are only about 10 inches diagonally, on average. Mobile phones are also getting smaller, lighter, and more portable. However, they have more memory and processing power than some of the most powerful computers of old.

Wireless computing has evolved a lot over just a few years. It’ll continue to evolve, and in just a few more decades, who knows where we’ll be. We may decide that our devices have gotten too small, or we may continue to shrink them. Either way, one thing is clear – we love our wireless technology.

Photos courtesy of Pete and Matthew Pearce /

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