Many today are enjoying the benefits of lots of modern technologies but cannot tell how they came into existence and the persons who invented them. However, one sure fact is that these technologies have been able to make life stress less and meaningful.

The advent of information age has witnessed numerous inventions that have added tremendous value to this era. Two inventions which have revolutionized the information age are Wi-Fi and email. Their usefulness or importance in information sharing cannot be over-emphasized. This article therefore aims at bringing full detail of the invention and inventors of Wi-Fi and email in order to fully appreciate the functions they are playing in this information age.

The Invention of Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is defined as an abbreviation for wireless fidelity, meaning you can access or connect to a network using radio waves, without needing to use wires. An example of Wi-Fi is when you get to an organization or corporation and can join on their network to get on the internet without having to connect your computer to any wires.

The discovery and development of Wi-Fi has enabled citizens around the world to use a device that is now an integral part of our daily life. When you make use of Wi-Fi network, be it at home, office or shop, you are using patented technology pioneered from the work of Dr O’Sullivan and his team from the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).

This invention came from the extensive research the team took into radio astronomy or the study of celestial objects from radio frequencies. Dr O’Sullivan is one of the Australia’s scientists and innovation heroes. His achievements, along with colleagues from CSIRO, received many awards including the IEEE Masura Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award in 2017 (with David Skellern), the European Inventor Award (International) in 2012, and not to mention the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2009.

The invention of Wi-Fi has benefited citizens of the world tremendous. With Wi-Fi Router, one can connect to the multiple modern day devices at once and access internet where the signals are available. The network can be expanded using Wi-Fi Extender and finally, one can save cost of cables and can access internet easily.

The Invention of Email

Email simply stands for electronic mail. It could be defined as a method of exchanging messages between people using electronic devices. It operates across computer networks, primarily the internet. Today’s email systems are based on a store-and –forward model. Email servers accept, forward, deliver, and store messages. Neither the users nor their computers are required to be online at the same time; they need to connect, typically to a mail server or a webmail interface to send or receive messages or download it.

Email system has passed through several evolutions; early email systems required both the author and the recipient to be online at the same time.

The inventor of email is still shrouded in conflict or disagreement between two individuals – Ray Tomlinson and Shiva Ayyadurai. Tomlinson was an American who worked for the United States Department of Defense. The department in 1971 tasked him to create a system that allowed employees to send “notes” to each other remotely. Tomlinson’s solution was the invention of the “@” symbol. This symbol created a unique user name. It allowed users to use individual computers to send and receive email. The process was very simple. You would install the email software on multiple computers. That would allow you to send unlimited messages to anyone on the same network that had the email software installed. Needless to say, it revolutionized the email system. It’s still the way our modern day email operates today.

On the other hand, Shiva Ayyadurai deserves the credit for his life changing software. As an intern working in the computer programming department for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1978, he took the task of creating a software program that allowed the staff to send “electronic notes”

No doubt, credit should be given to Ray Tomlinson for the invention “@” symbol which without it we would still have to write and check email from a single computer. It was 7 years after the invention of the “@” symbol before Shiva created his “EMAIL” system. One can only imagine the extent Ray Tomlinson’s ideas influenced the young Shiva.

Internet Email

  • 1993 – AOL (America Online) – was released and marked the beginning of internet email services. They did not create the original version of the software. However, they created an email system that revolutionized the way people communicated.
  • 1994 – Yahoo Mail – hit online community with their own version of what an internet email service should function like.
  • 1996 – Microsoft Outlook -this proved to be good year for Microsoft. They purchased Hotmail for $400 million dollars. They then renamed it Outlook a few years later.
  • 2004 – Gmail – along comes Gmail which is owned by the search engine mega giant Google.  

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