Journey through communication technology

How did we speak, write and collaborate with one another thousands of years ago? Join us on a journey through the history of communication technology — and help us predict what the future may hold.

Let's begin
  • In the beginning, there was art

    We're all familiar with cave paintings. Crowded handprints and scrawled outlines of wildebeest horses and people were painted upon cave walls in glowing terracotta shades. But did you know that these paintings were the first sign that human beings had developed language to communicate? More than just pictures of animals and people, these paintings also told stories. For example, of hunting trips.

    Sources

    https://www.worldhistory.org/writing/
  • Clay, wax and bones

    Clay was plentiful in Mesopotamia, where writing first originated. Historians imagine that we used cut reeds to scratch or press communicative symbols into wet clay. When the clay dried in the sun, the writing became permanent. Later, around 1200 BC in Ancient China, incisions were made into animal bones — often during rituals. In Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, wax tablets were used for everything from dictation and record-keeping to making lists and completing homework.

    Sources

    https://www.bl.uk/history-of-writing/articles/a-brief-history-of-writing-materials-and-technologies
  • Communication takes flight

    Pigeons have helped humans to communicate for thousands of years. Sailors in Ancient Egypt set pigeons free from their ships to let others know they were arriving on shore. Over in Ancient Greece, pigeons revealed the winners of the Olympic games. The humble, speedy pigeon was so effective at carrying messages across great distances that they continued to be used by humans even centuries later, for example during the First and Second World Wars.

    Sources

    https://davidson.weizmann.ac.il/en/online/sciencepanorama/where-theres-smoke-theres-message
  • Pens and postal systems

    Postal systems have existed since ancient times. Messengers carried letters over vast distances. Common subjects included academic and administrative information, personal and political messages, and even curses! Pens have been around for just as long. While cut reeds were the first writing tools, metal pens were first used by the Romans. Still, it took thousands of years before they were mass-produced. Quills were more common. They replaced the reliable reed during the early Middle Ages.

    Sources

    https://www.worldhistory.org/article/1442/letters--post-in-the-ancient-world/
  • The printing press

    In Germany, 1450, Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing machine and printed the Gutenberg Bible. But unbeknown to him, China invented printing hundreds of years prior. Using moveable moulded characters, people could reproduce parts of a document onto another surface. Soon after Gutenberg's invention, William Caxton developed Britain's printing press and published Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The technology led to the mass-distribution of newspapers, making information accessible to more people than ever before.

    Sources

    https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/printing-press
  • Telegraphs, typing and telephones

    The invention of the electric telegraph transformed how we communicate over long distances. Used by people across the globe, news travelled far and fast. Later, typewriters further advanced how we communicate. People could write five times faster than they would if they used traditional pen and paper. Then came the telephone: Alexander Graham Bell is credited with its invention and made the first phone call in 1876.

    Sources

    https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/telegraph & https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/alexander-graham-bell
  • Creation of the computer

    Let's whirl back to the decades of free love, The Beatles, and a major technological development: the computer. Previously used for complex calculations (like launching astronauts into space), computers could now be used for word-processing, which sped up communication. The internet was another giant leap for mankind. Developed over time by multiple people, computers first communicated with each other in 1969. By the 1980s, Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web and the internet morphed into the shape we know today.

    Sources

    https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/invention-of-the-internet
  • Zooming into the present day

    These days, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to how we communicate. We can speak with friends, family, and colleagues via email. We can send text messages with a few taps of a screen. Social media has also made staying connected easier than ever. And when the pandemic hit, we all became reliant on technology to communicate. Video-calling proved essential in maintaining connections with others. In workplaces, software helped us to replicate the collaborative nature of the office while working remotely.

    Sources

    https://www.worldhistory.org/writing/
  • The future of communication

    From cave art to clay tablets, to early printers and bulky computers, the way we use tools and technology to communicate with each other and the wider world has transformed rapidly. It's hard to imagine a future beyond mobile phones and social media, let alone how technology will continue to change and improve. It makes us wonder: when it comes to communication technology, what does the future hold?

    Sources

    https://www.worldhistory.org/writing/
  • What do you think communication will be like in the future?





  • What do you think communication will be like in the future?

    Mind-reading technology

    Outer space collaboration

    Tech has reached its limit

    No idea, the future is unpredictable!

  • In the beginning, there was art

    We're all familiar with cave paintings. Crowded handprints and scrawled outlines of wildebeest horses and people were painted upon cave walls in glowing terracotta shades. But did you know that these paintings were the first sign that human beings had developed language to communicate? More than just pictures of animals and people, these paintings also told stories. For example, of hunting trips.

    Sources

    https://www.worldhistory.org/writing/
  • Clay, wax and bones

    Clay was plentiful in Mesopotamia, where writing first originated. Historians imagine that we used cut reeds to scratch or press communicative symbols into wet clay. When the clay dried in the sun, the writing became permanent. Later, around 1200 BC in Ancient China, incisions were made into animal bones — often during rituals. In Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, wax tablets were used for everything from dictation and record-keeping to making lists and completing homework.

    Sources

    https://www.bl.uk/history-of-writing/articles/a-brief-history-of-writing-materials-and-technologies
  • Communication takes flight

    Pigeons have helped humans to communicate for thousands of years. Sailors in Ancient Egypt set pigeons free from their ships to let others know they were arriving on shore. Over in Ancient Greece, pigeons revealed the winners of the Olympic games. The humble, speedy pigeon was so effective at carrying messages across great distances that they continued to be used by humans even centuries later, for example during the First and Second World Wars.

    Sources

    https://davidson.weizmann.ac.il/en/online/sciencepanorama/where-theres-smoke-theres-message
  • Pens and postal systems

    Postal systems have existed since ancient times. Messengers carried letters over vast distances. Common subjects included academic and administrative information, personal and political messages, and even curses! Pens have been around for just as long. While cut reeds were the first writing tools, metal pens were first used by the Romans. Still, it took thousands of years before they were mass-produced. Quills were more common. They replaced the reliable reed during the early Middle Ages.

    Sources

    https://www.worldhistory.org/article/1442/letters--post-in-the-ancient-world/
  • The printing press

    In Germany, 1450, Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing machine and printed the Gutenberg Bible. But unbeknown to him, China invented printing hundreds of years prior. Using moveable moulded characters, people could reproduce parts of a document onto another surface. Soon after Gutenberg's invention, William Caxton developed Britain's printing press and published Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The technology led to the mass-distribution of newspapers, making information accessible to more people than ever before.

    Sources

    https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/printing-press
  • Telegraphs, typing and telephones

    The invention of the electric telegraph transformed how we communicate over long distances. Used by people across the globe, news travelled far and fast. Later, typewriters further advanced how we communicate. People could write five times faster than they would if they used traditional pen and paper. Then came the telephone: Alexander Graham Bell is credited with its invention and made the first phone call in 1876.

    Sources

    https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/telegraph & https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/alexander-graham-bell
  • Creation of the computer

    Let's whirl back to the decades of free love, The Beatles, and a major technological development: the computer. Previously used for complex calculations (like launching astronauts into space), computers could now be used for word-processing, which sped up communication. The internet was another giant leap for mankind. Developed over time by multiple people, computers first communicated with each other in 1969. By the 1980s, Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web and the internet morphed into the shape we know today.

    Sources

    https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/invention-of-the-internet
  • Zooming into the present day

    These days, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to how we communicate. We can speak with friends, family, and colleagues via email. We can send text messages with a few taps of a screen. Social media has also made staying connected easier than ever. And when the pandemic hit, we all became reliant on technology to communicate. Video-calling proved essential in maintaining connections with others. In workplaces, software helped us to replicate the collaborative nature of the office while working remotely.

    Sources

    https://www.worldhistory.org/writing/
  • The future of communication

    From cave art to clay tablets, to early printers and bulky computers, the way we use tools and technology to communicate with each other and the wider world has transformed rapidly. It's hard to imagine a future beyond mobile phones and social media, let alone how technology will continue to change and improve. It makes us wonder: when it comes to communication technology, what does the future hold?

    Sources

    https://www.worldhistory.org/writing/

Simplify your document collaboration process

It's time to move on from ancient methods of communication. Whether you're collaborating on documents with colleagues or third parties, PleaseReview gives you full control and security. It also removes tedious and time—consuming admin, so that you can create better quality documents faster.

This journey through communication technology has been brought to you by Ideagen, the software experts helping to build responsible and resilient businesses across the world.