Friday, April 19, 2013

Blog #2: Mobile Phone Technology

As we have transitioned overtime into new technologies, mobile phones have become more popular, and since its rapid growth in popularity in the 1990s, mobile phones (cell phones) have become an almost essential part of daily life (Ishii, 2006).  The cell phone/portable phone handset was invented by Martin Cooper in 1973 according to class lecture during the Mobile Telephony lecture.  The cell phone then evolved to what people called the brick phone.  After that it then transitioned to a much smaller housing and now it is at its best and smallest size yet.
How does it work?
                Before discovering in lecture as to how the cell phone technology works, I believed that it was called a cell phone because it is a phone with a cell (battery).  According to class lecture, the reason for it being called a cell phone is because the cell phone towers are divided into regions of cells in which each area is served by a single cell phone antenna. When a consumer uses a cell phone, the closer you are to the tower you are connected to, the stronger your signal.  As you travel and talk on your phone, your signal hops from one cell tower to another.  If you get too far away from one before you get to another, this is the instance when dropped calls occur.  The way one phone connects to another according to class lecture is that once your phone connects to the phone tower, it is then wired all the way to the tower nearest the phone you are calling.  Older phones had a small band antenna and now, phones have a wideband antenna which according to class lecture uses fractal geometry to be able to house a larger antenna inside the phone.  This allows the phone to send and receive better voice, text messages, and internet data.
How is it used?
                Today, the cell phone is used for more than just talking on the go.  People use it to text, email, search the internet, and much more.  As three of the dimensions introduced when phones entered our society, contextual mobility is an essential point in understanding the social consequences cell phones bring.  In face-to-face interactions, people use to have to consider what they say right on the spot. Now, people can take their time to say what they want.  Mobile media enables free communication from a specific context (Ishii, 2006).  It takes away from traditional communication which allowed people to really show emotion in their speech, but while it does that, it also allows those who lack the confidence to communicate in person, to be able to so.  This has led to things like Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites to grow to what they are today.

-Baldemar Munoz

Ishii, K. (2006). Implications of mobility: The uses of personal communication media in everyday life. Journal of Communication, 56(2), 346-365. doi:10.1111/j. 1460-2466.2006.00023.x
Mahood, C. (2013). Mobile Telephony. Class Lecture.