Did You Know?

Did you know a horse's "emissions" contain almost half the CO2 of a Van's - and that's not really considering just the methane! Although a horse is considerably closer to being "carbon neutral" than a van is...

Making a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland? An average journey time for a van from London is around 7.5hrs, but riding on a stagecoach? Well that'll take a more leisurely six days!

If you were to be charged the same costs for sending tweets as telegrams, it would cost you 13p every time you tweeted. The global costs of daily tweets would be over £65,000,000 per day if sent as telegrams! That's probably why people didn't send many telegrams about what they'd just eaten for lunch or their #firstworldproblems

The Titanic is believed to have sent its last wireless message early morning on April 15th, 1912: "SOS SOS CQD CQD Titanic. We are sinking fast. Passengers are being put into boats. Titanic"

The world's first sticky postage stamp was the "penny black" and issued as far back as 1840. Its distinct black colouring and its purchase price of a penny lead to its descriptive, yet uninspiring name.

Starting the tradition still followed with modern stamps today, the Penny Black Featured the then Queen at the time, Queen Victoria.

The rare British Guiana one-cent magenta stamp recently sold for a record-busting £5.6 million! You think everyday stamps are expensive now? Think Again!

Did you know it only takes around six weeks to train to be a morse code operator?

The Welsh village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - is officially the longest place name in the UK at 58 letters long. Yet, if you tapped it out in Morse code there would be a staggering 252 dots and dashes!

The video below shows what appears to be someone talking on a mobile phone in 1928. It's still debated as to what exactly is seen, but for many it seems that history needs to be re-written!

Being able to make a call across the Atlantic was no mean feat, it took three years to lay the 1,726 miles of cable (underwater) at an estimated cost of £1,715,948,749!

In 1938, Orsen Wells broadcast his adaptation of War of the Worlds, not as a fiction, but as a genuine news broadcast. Those that listened in heard the reports of an alien emerging from a flying saucer, leading many to believe there was a real invasion under way. People went nuts, leaving towns and cities, hiding in cellars, armed themselves and even wrapped their heads in damp towels to protect themselves from Martian gas!

Marconi opened the world's first radio factory in Chelmsford in 1898 and his HQ then in 1912. From here he went on to innovate some of the most important advances in radio and TV. Planning permission to develop the area was granted in 2013, transforming Marconi's former building into housing and office space.

Those without a decent broadband connection may feel they're getting the raw end of the deal when it comes to streaming their favourite TV or film. However, if you were to try and download an episode of Breaking Bad in HD on an old 56k dial-up connection it would take almost 21 hours!

At the turn of the new Millennium only 27% of the UK's population were online; this grew massively to 70% in 2005, and is currently estimated to be 90% in 2014, compared 40% of the global population estimated today (2,925,249,355 people!).

Broadband has meant that video content is consumed at an epic rate. The World's most watched video, Gangnam Style by Psy, is the first video to gain more than 2 billion plays. That means that this four minute video has been watched for the equivalent of 15,971 years if each play was put end-to-end.

There were 13 million UK mobile phone subscriptions in 1999, totalling 10 billion call minutes. Comparing this to figures of 82.7 million subscriptions in 2013, totalling 122 billion call minutes, shows a staggering increase of over 536%. It really is good to talk!

Besides the revolution of being able to make phone calls on the go, one of the most cherished memories of early mobile phones was with the game Snake. Installed on its early handsets around 1998 (most notably the 3310), Nokia helped elevate this simple game to cult levels and effectively helped spark the idea of a mobile phone one day becoming a gaming device.

That smartphone you carry around in your pocket is more powerful than the computer used to send the first mission to the moon - a lot more powerful! It is 1,300x more powerful, and not to mention it's only .4% of the weight!

Apps have become the most important function on smart phones, which explains the sheer number of apps that are available. In July 2008 there were only 800 Apps available on iTunes, however as of June 2014 there are a staggering 1.2 million!

Telex was the original, preceding the fax machine, developed during WW2 as a secure way of sending data over long distances. Unlike Fax or email, the Telex has full 'legal status' in every country, meaning it's still widely used in banking, aviation and marine industries.

British band Radiohead had a hit single with a track called "Planet Telex". The track was rumoured to be the result of a drunken afternoon where a prone Thom Yorke improvised the lyrics and put the track down in a single take.

Believe it or not, the first video phone system was pioneered in Germany in 1936 and was given the snappy title of 'Gegensehn-Fernsprechanlagen'!

Given Germany's first steps in Video calling, perhaps it's not surprising that German Director, Fritz Lang's Metropolis was the first film to show what looks like a video phone in action.

The possibilities of wearable tech are huge. From Google glass and smart watches, to electronic nappies that tell parents when they need changing, and more perplexingly 'hug simulation jackets' for when you need to feel loved - weird eh?

Wearable tech isn't all just about checking your emails on your watch or glasses, there's a growing trend in 'telehealth' devices - wearable tech designed to improve our health. At the moment this tech looks to monitor our vitals (blood pressure, heart rate etc), it's predicted that by 2020 this will lead to a 15% reduction in visits to A&E and a massive 45% drop in mortality rates.

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The Evolution Of Communication

From the earliest letters sent via horse and rider, through to a pair of glasses that can access the breadth of human knowledge, explore the evolution of communication and the technology that has connected us all.

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Post

Egyptian Pharaohs were among the first known users of a postal system (from around 2400 BC). They sent letters baked in thin clay envelopes to hide their contents from unwanted eyes. From here the postal system developed and letters were moved further and faster with the aid of animals, such as pigeons, dogs and horses.

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Horse and Cart

The horse served as the car of its day long before combustion engines were even imaginable, and amongst other things, were used as a primary mail transport method for many years.

Using a horse and rider, small consignments of mail could be quickly transported, ideal for war-time communications or urgent messages. When the cart entered into the equation, now you can transport large volumes of mail over relatively long distances.

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Morse Code

Morse code is a set of dots and dashes assigned to each letter of the alphabet. Like the telegram, morse code was developed as a method of sending messages over long distance, initially using cables, but requiring someone to receive and translate the message.

. . . - - - . . . is morse code for SOS, or Save Our Souls, and is accepted as the worldwide distress signal ("help I'm in a spot of bother!").

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Telegram

The invention of electricity opened up a new world of communication opportunities because of the ability to send messages over long distances much faster than ever before. The invention of the electrical telegraph removed the need for messages to be physically carried (by human or animal) and therefore started a social and economical revolution; the pace of life changed and we've not looked back since!

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Telephone

The telephone emerged from the invention of the electric telegraph and morse code. Alexander Graham Bell patented the device in April 1875 and it developed to become the first communication device in history that allowed people to talk in real time over long distances, another revolution in social and economic aspects of human culture.

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Radio

Based on Heinrich Rudolf Hertz's pioneering work in electromagnetism, the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi sent the first transatlantic radio transmission in 1901. This form of transmission proved a highly effective way of broadcasting information over great distances without the reliance on wires - a hugely liberating advancement, instrumental to making us all more mobile!

For many, Chelmsford is considered the spiritual home of radio, where Marconi opened the world's first factory producing his revolutionary radios in 1898.

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Fax

The fax machine originated around the same time as the invention of the electric telegraph, yet in recent history, the fax machine became the centre of office technology. It is used to send printed documents over large distances via the telephone line - in many ways becoming the early prototype for email. Even though the fax machine is largely redundant, it still has a place in many offices, even today.

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Video Calling

Video technology was initiated in the second half of the 1920s, spurred notably by John Logie Baird and first put to use for TV broadcasting - far in advance of its use for video calling.

The development of video conferencing systems gathered pace from 1980 onwards, with further advancements making it a practical technology for regular use. Since video calling has extended to smartphones, PCs and tablets it can be utilised anywhere there is an internet connection!

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Dial-Up Internet

Dial-up internet allowed you to connect to the World Wide Web through a normal telephone line. Using a PC and modem connected to the telephone line, you connected by dialling a specific number allocated by your internet service provider (ISP).

Most memorable for its characteristic dialling tones and slow connection speeds (relative to ADSL and Fibre lines of today) dial-up offered the first real glimpse of a world which exists virtually, rather than physically.

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Mobile

The mobile phone was first dreamt up as early as 1947, but back then the word "mobile" seemed to mean something different to what we consider mobile today. Due to size and weight restrictions, early mobile phones were limited to cars and other vehicles.

Each new generation of mobile phone technology has increased its capabilities allowing companies to provide bigger and better services, whilst shrinking the handset size - becoming even more mobile!

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Broadband

Broadband was introduced to replace dial-up, improving the bandwidth on offer - meaning it worked much faster! The ability to transfer far greater amounts of data at quicker speeds has meant that music, TV, films and more are only ever a click away.

Early ADSL connections were limited by the copper infrastructure, but with the move towards fibre optics, data can now travel at the speed of light - another huge step up in download speeds.

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1.28 Billion Monthly active users (March 2014) 1.01 billion mobile active users. 300 million users in 10 years compared to mobile phones (25 years) and the Telephone (104 years). 70 million users with monthly figures of over 30% pinning, re-pinning or liking a pin. 300 million monthly active users. 20 million unique mobile monthly users. 900 million unique visits each month with 3.25 billion hours of video watched each month. 300 million users. The gender split is 56% Male to 44% Female. 255 million monthly active users, 500 million Tweets sent per day. 78% of accounts are on mobile. Blogger is a free publishing platform started by Pyra Labs in August 1999. Google bought it in 2002 and continue to grow the platform. 100 million monthly unique views. Friends Reunited had 24 million users (39% of the UK population) with 1.5 to 3 million unique visitors every month, that's 1 per second. After owners (DC Thomson Family History) rebranded, Friends Reunited was not considered as an integral part of the business, so it was repurposed and effectively retired in October 2013. 53 million songs on Myspace and a further 13k are added daily. There are 14 million unsigned artists. 25+ million users with average of 300 stum - bles per user a month averaging 7 hours a month Over 192 million blogs with over 83 million posts in 13 different languages. Hide

Social Media

Social media has caused a revolution with increasing numbers using it to communicate. Each platform has a purpose built application (App) with the likes of Facebook and Twitter being popular. Each application allows a user to interact in its own way. Users can do many things like create, share and exchange content, opinions and interests or read news articles.

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Smart Phone

Ericcson were the first to create a 'smart phone' in the late 90s, however, smart phones as we know them didn't start to appear until the mid-00s with BlackBerry managing to gain mass appeal with its device's ability to integrate phone, email and web services.

The introduction of the touch screen was a huge leap for smart phones, with the Apple iPhone the first device to use a finger instead of a stylus.

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Wearable Tech

Recent developments have seen a rise in wearable technology.

There are many new products in the pipeline or at the beta stage, some of which seem more science fiction than real; Apple's iWatch and Google's Glass™ are a couple of examples on the horizon, enabling a further integration of the internet and computing power to our everyday lives.

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Life Changing Tech

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's must-have gadget and will likely change the way we do things, but what tech has changed your life the most? The telex machine, Nokia 3310, your dial-up connection or perhaps a humble postage stamp?

Let us know on Twitter or Facebook by sharing this page and using the hashtag #CommsEvo.

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