From Scientific Theory to Commercial Success.

Posted: January 23, 2011 in Technology

Video-telephony in 2010.

“Picture-telephony” in 1956.

I’ve been always wondering about how ideas come to life. How much time does it take for a technology to become a mass commercial product? How much time does it take for something that is technologically possible to become an actual technology? How much time does it take for our Scientific knowledge (e. g. Physics and Chemistry) to become something that is technologically possible? How much time does it take for a new Mathematics to become applicable in the actual Science?

Let’s take video-telephony as an example and try to understand what happened to allow this technology becoming affordable for almost everyone.

Web-cameras spread through the world somewhen in early 2000’s. The technology (streaming video through the Internet) itself have been pretty much well developed since 1995. Lets not forget that the principal of video-telephony was possible even before the introduction of the Internet. Back in 1950’s, US engineers were playing with different experimental communication techniques. So, it was technologically possible even back then (though, it was pretty expensive and unpractical to assemble something like that in those days). All the “basic” technologies that would allow video-phone calls (e. g. radio-waves transmitters/receivers , cathode ray tubes, microphones, speakers, etc) have been invented over 100 years ago, during XIX century. All the Physics that stands behind these technologies has been very well understood by the mid-19th century. And all the Mathematics that helps to explain this Physics have been developed during the time of Newton, who lived over 300 years ago….

I think it would be interesting to know what’s technologically possible now, and what would become possible when engineers will find real life applications for all these Quantum mechanics and other hard-to-comprehend Science stuff….

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