The relatively recent field of information technology concerns the use of computer-based information systems to convert, store, protect, process, transmit and retrieve information. Technological advances in this field have changed lifestyles around the world and spawned new industries around controlling and providing information.
The Digital Revolution is a recent term describing the effects of the rapid drop in cost and rapid expansion of power of digital devices such as computers and telecommunications (e.g mobile phones). It includes changes in technology and society, and is often specifically used to refer to the controversies that occur as these technologies are widely adopted. Technological breakthroughs have revolutionized communications and the spread of information. In 1875, for example, the invention of the telephone breached distance through sound. Between 1910 and 1920, the first AM radio stations began to broadcast sound. By the 1940s television was broadcasting both sound and visuals to a vast public. In 1943, the world's first electronic computer was created. However, it was only with the invention of the microprocessor in the 1970s that computers became accessible to the public. In the 1990s, the Internet migrated from universities and research institutions to corporate headquarters and homes. All of these technologies deal with information storage and transmission. However, the one characteristic of computer technology that sets it apart from earlier analog technologies is that it is digital. Analog signals work by having a signal (usually electric) where the voltage is proportional to some variable. Digital technology, however, converts everything into binary values that are either 0 or 1. This is the "universal language" of nearly every modern device. To use an analogy, a digital world is a world united by one language, a world where people from across continents share ideas with one another and work together to build projects and ideas. More voluminous and accurate information is accumulated and generated, and distributed in a twinkling to an audience that understands exactly what is said. This in turn allows the recipients of the information to use it for their own purposes, to create ideas and to redistribute more ideas. The result is progress. Take this scenario to a technological level—all kinds of computers, equipment and appliances interconnected and functioning as one unit. Even today, we see telephones exchanging information with computers, and computers playing compressed audio data files or live audio data streams that play music over the Internet like radios. Computers can play movies and tune in to television. Some modern homes allow a person to control central lighting and air-conditioning through computers. These are just some of the features of a digital world. Box 1. Wearable Computer Systems
Characteristics of digital technology
Media Integrity. Data stored in analog formats cannot be reproduced without degradation. The more copies made, the worse the copies get. Digital data, on the other hand, do not suffer such deterioration with reproduction. For instance, movies, videos, music and audio files in digital format can be copied and distributed with a quality that is as good as the original. Media Integration. One of the major limitations of many conventional technologies is their inability to combine media types. Telephones, for example, can send and receive only sound. Similarly, you can’t watch television and expect a character to answer a question you pose. However, with digital data, it is easy to combine media. Thus, phones with video, or interactive sound...