Remember back to the days before cell phones were around and the digital age of communication was really just blossoming, chances are you may remember the device of choice at that time which was a pager. This digital device gave people a way to stay mobile and yet be reachable to co-workers, friends, and family. The pager was a fairly small device that a person could clip to their belt or carry in a pocket. It allowed you to ‘page someone’ with your phone number so they would know to call you back, and vice versa.
Obviously with today’s smartphones that provide instant access to one another, this technology seems a bit archaic, but the fact is that pagers are still in use today. So, for a little fun let’s take a walk back in time and examine the history of pagers and how they are still being used today.
Almost 100 Year Old Technology
In reality the pager system technology is almost 100 years old, as the first system dates back to 1921. This system was used by Detroit PD and gave the department the ability to use radio equipment in its police vehicles. This completely changed the police force and how it was able to respond to emergencies.
From there the technology evolved significantly with the first telephone pager being developed in 1949. Patented by Al Gross, the device was put into use in the Jewish Hospital in New York City.
Pagers continued to change, offering more features and a better range; they also scaled down in size. The healthcare sector continued to be one of the top customers for the devices thanks to the fact it allowed instant communication, and it was quiet.
The 1980s were huge for pagers as this is when the alphanumeric display was brought into play. This gave people the ability to send and receive text messages. After that came the QWERTY keyboards in the 1990s on two-way pagers. People didn’t have to go to a phone to respond back, the devices could respond directly to one another.
Where Do Pagers Stand Today?
While most people have evolved with the times and now carry smartphones instead of a pager, that doesn’t mean they have disappeared from the landscape all together. In fact, many groups and sectors are still using them today.
The two biggest industries using the devices are the healthcare industry and the public safety industry. These were the two industries that started the whole trend in the beginning, so it’s interesting to note that they have kept it up and can find merit in these devices, even today.
These devices work especially well for people that need to be on-call. Unlike cell phones, their battery power is nothing short of impressive so it will last and last. Then there is the fact that they aren’t affected by high data traffic.
No Need to Count Them Out
So, when it comes to pagers, even though the original technology is old, thanks to the many changes they have gone through it seems they still play a very important part in a variety of jobs and industries.