When trying to establish and maintain connections, whether in manufacturing, business or social contexts, there are a variety of available options. Technology is continually opening new frontiers and spurring innovative evolution. There are, of course, a few well established and widely adopted social media applications. There are also several newer sophisticated tools that enable the virtually non-stop exchange of information.
Before launching into a list of ways to stay connected, it will be helpful to take a quick peek at the technologies making them possible. The internet is a massively distributed networking system providing the world-wide exchange of digital information. Cellular wireless networks are another key enabling infrastructure element. Satellites orbiting the earth facilitate high-speed data transmission around the globe supporting the internet, cellular networks and geographic information systems (GIS).
Different combinations of these tools pave the way for innovative connectivity and communications. Whether a connection is for business or social purposes, its maintenance depends upon communication of information in some form.
Connection Through Textual and Numeric Data
Data is essentially a synonym for information. Connectivity with data may take the form of textual or numeric information. This form is as old as recorded history. Today, however, technology makes it possible to present data to much larger audiences simultaneously. This vast number of real-time connections activate a world-wide ability to share information that allows for collaboration on an unprecedented scale. Here are 5 New Approaches to Staying Connected.
Connection Through Visual Imagery
Pictorial information, like textual and numeric, is ancient in its origin. Today, however, technologies facilitating new forms of graphical data have defined a new class of connectivity. Interactivity with visually presented information, at global-scale, enables collaborative artistic connections. Many artisans can contribute to real-time dynamic art. Further, this interactivity demonstrates a new level of connection between artistic expression and the way humans relate to, and interpret those expressions.
Connection Through Audible Information
The audible delivery of content to mass-media audiences was established with radio technology. The use of speech, music and sound is another domain in which world-wide audiences represent a new approach to connectivity. Podcasts are a good example of this uncharted approach to connection. Networking has enabled this form of connection irrespective of geographic distances. Listening to content in real-time around the globe is a new avenue to mass-communications. Like visual content, interactivity of audible data enables multiple individuals to participate in content creation at the same time.
Connection Through Location
Global positioning systems in tandem with wireless technology can track the location of virtually any person or item. By leveraging wireless networks, Bluetooth and cellular IoT systems, connections in 3-D space can be established. Many business operations rely on the timely movement of assets. Communications with customers regarding the whereabouts of their orders represent an added value. Likewise, day to day operations may depend on the location of equipment, supplies and people in transit.
Similarly, but on a much smaller scale, localized relative positions of equipment or parts enable things like manufacturing production lines. Robotics in assembly lines are a good example. Proximity sensors and bar code readers make automated assembly possible.
Connection Through Multimedia
The generation alive today has at its fingertips the tools allowing content-rich connections. Many teenagers walk around carrying mobile computing devices through which they connect. Walking through any public space it is evident that this has become the norm. By using these devices and the unseen elements of wireless networks users connect on many levels. They can, for instance, share the experience of listening to the same musical content while video chatting, sending links to online textual data and seeing one another’s location all in real-time.
Connections Yet to Come
The newly emerging landscape of connections in society is both exciting and constantly evolving. The novel and unique kinds of relationships being enabled by technology are ushering in unprecedented levels of communication. A world-wide central nervous system of sorts has become a reality.
Just over the horizon is the embryonic technology enabling still another avenues of connection. The tools that will make the haptic experiences of touch as well as virtual reality environments in which to interrelate are being hammered out now. As the accelerating pace of development plows new ground, humanity is plunging forward into an unknown future.
Doubtless, as we explore this territory, a host of different issues will make themselves known. Even as progress continues at breakneck speed, we carry with us the human characteristics we all share. Both the best and worst of us will experience connectivity that is unimaginable even today. Creative ways of managing these new superpowers will have to be developed and perfected.
It seems to be encoded in human DNA to seek out ways to relate to one another. Science and engineering have made that possible. Now we face one another and relate in ways that were undreamt of even a century ago.