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Digital Revolution - Referat

1) Introduction
2) Facts and numbers
3) Development of the Digital Revolution
4) Trends for the future
5) Social and economic consequences – pros and cons

1. Introduction

- The word “Digital Revolution” describes the change from an analog mechanical and electronic technology into digital technology
- As beginning there is often mentioned the 1980’s years, the digital revolution continues to the present day
-  changes are brought by computing and communication technologies since around 1980
- It is also known as the “third industrial revolution” after agricultural revolution which took place around 12 000 years ago and the one known as “industrial revolution” around 1800
- The digital Revolution marks the beginning of the Digital Age, also known as Information Age
- The beginning of the Digital Age is often set to the year 2002, because it is assumed, that at this time it was possible the first time to save more information digital than analog
- digital medias save any information in zero’s and one’s (binary) preventing them from information loss or distortion
- examples for digital storage media are for example USB-Sticks, hard drives, CDs, and also floppy disks
- in opposite to this analog signals are continuous signals with varying variables, which are more likely to be affected from “noise” (= unwanted variations)
- examples for analog media are video tape, vinyl records, diafilms and audio cassettes

2. Facts and Numbers

- for imagination here are some numbers, that proof, how fast the Digital Revolution changed our lives:
- 1980:
cell phone users: 11.2 million
internet users: around 2000, listed in a directory as big as a phone book
- 1990:
cell phone users: 12.4 million (0.2 % of world population)
internet users: 2.8 million (0.05% of world population)
- 2002:
cell phone users: 1 200 million (19% of world population)
internet users: 631 million (11% of world population)
- 2010:
cell phone users: 4 000 million (67% of world population)
internet users: 1 800 million (27% of world population)

3. Development of the Digital Revolution

Origins of the Computer: 1947 – 1979
- 1947 the transistor was invented, allowing advanced computer systems
- Since 1950s the military and government used computer systems
- The first microprocessor was completed in 1968  much more complex computer systems were possible
- The idea of a worldwide connection between computers developed in the 1960s, before any home user was able to buy a computer
- In 1976 / 77 the first personal computers (PC) were able to be delivered to customers
The 1980s
- In the 1980s computers became familiar to the public
- Millions of people bought computers for home use
- In 1983 Motorola created the first mobile phone called DynaTac, but because there weren’t any mobile networks at this time it has not been sold
- The first digital camera was created in 1988
- By the late 1980s many businessmen became dependent on computers and digital technology to be able to work
The 1990s
- In 1991 the World Wide Web was released to the public
- In 1992 IBM developed the first touchscreen mobile-phone called IBM Simon
- In 1992 there also started the first German mobile networks D1 and D2
- By 1999 almost every country had an internet connection and half of Americas population used the internet regularly
- Also 51% of US households owned computers – even, if internet connections were very slow at this time and computers expensive
- Due to this high usage of the internet advertising on the world wide web became popular
The 2000s
- by early 2000s mobile phones became as omnipresent as computers
- since the mobile phones of the 1990s only allowed to make calls, the 21th century-phones were much more developed:
- in the beginning of the 2000s text messaging became popular, even if it already existed since 1992
- Palm’s Kyocera 6035 was the first device we now know as smartphone released to the public market – people were able to buy it since 2001
- It was delivered with an internet browser, a calculator, a note-program and more
- The digital revolution also started do take over the developing world
- Smartphones connected the internet with usage on the go making social networks so popular
The 2010s
- By 2010 social networking became a standard in communication
- Tablet computes made surfing at home much more comfortable and are still becoming much more popular
- Actually the trend is developing into cloud computing  saving data into the cloud and letting other computers / servers do the work instead of the own one

4. How could our world look like in the future?

- The trend of worldwide connection will surely continue in the future
- There are some projects in
development which are likely to influence our world in the future:
- Actually there are many smart watches getting developed:
- A smart watch is a watch, which can display additional information on its display
- It has got functions like a computer and is connected to the internet – often it also connects to the own smartphone via Bluetooth
- Smart watches are for example able to inform about incoming calls or new twitter messages without needing the user to take out its smartphone of the pocket
- When he wants, the user is also able to reply via the touch-screen-display or the microphone with text recognition
- batteries of smart watches can power the watch from 2 days upon to a year – depending on technology of the watch (some watches use E-ink known from eBook-readers being really energy-efficient)
- besides of the smart watches there is also an upward trend at augmented reality-devices:
- augmented means as much as “expanded”, so augmented reality is a expended view on reality:
- already some years ago there have been many smartphone-apps using augmented reality-functions:
- for example navigation apps used the camera to detect, what famous buildings You are walking past
- Google and other companies want to expand this idea:
- In 2012 Google presented its project “Google Glass”:
- It is mainly a wearable computer with smartphone technology and a head-mounted-display:
- The build in projector projects information directly into the eyes’ retina stretching the user interface over the whole field of view
- On this “display” there can be displayed many information like incoming messages, information about the contact who stands in opposite of You etc.
- It is either controlled by voice or a small touchpad
- Here is a concept video from Google to show, what Glass can do
- Another important role for the future could be the self-driving car, also developed by Google
5. Social and economic consequences – pros and cons
- The digital revolution greatly improved connectedness and made communication much easer
- With this, it became much more difficult for totalitarian regimes to suppress opinions and revolutionary ideas
- Even if some countries try to control the internet with blocking sites such as Google they can’t completely block exchange of views
- It is told, that the revolutions of 2011 (Arab Spring) for example in Egypt and Libya only were enabled by social networks and smartphone technology
- Globalization would not been possible as it happens today without the Digital Revolution:
- The internet gave small companies instantly access to the worldwide market
- All the modern technologies have created millions of jobs worldwide with software engineers, workers for customer care, politicians for digital topics and much more
- It is also known, that digital technologies have significantly increased the productivity of businesses: not only directly at work, but also with worldwide ad campaigns, apps for better informing etc.
- But – of course – there are also negative aspects:
- For example there is a huge information flood in the internet – because everyone can work as journalist in the internet You can’t easily say, which information are true and which not
- It also opened more possibilities of social isolation (cyber-mobbing)
- Even if IT mostly improves business-productivity, modern IT can also reduce productivity: workers also use internet at work (or their smartphone) to email, read news and even play games at work
- There can also be shared not legal information via internet like pornography, pictures and videos of violence and more – this lead into censorship in many countries like also in Germany
- Also the copyright and trademark issues are mostly caused by Digital Revolution:
- it is really easy to reproduce protected goods like PC-games and music causing losses running into millions every year (in 2012 this losses were estimated at 700 million €
- the internet allows profiles of every social network users which are sold for much money to companies for individual advertising
- because social networks don’t need real contact there can also arise aloneness when real contact gets lower priority than social networking
- another negative aspects are the over-dependence on technology (no internet  no work) and cyber-weapons like computer worms



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