Technology and advancement of human culture and society have been closely intertwined. Humans innovate to improve their society by enhancing different aspects of environment, human life, and human societal interactions. A very real need of human beings â€“ even in their primitive stage â€“ was to connect with other humans and connecting environments by bringing them â€˜closerâ€™. Most innovations in communication as well as in transportation have been motivated by the desire to connect people and places.
Mechanisms or technology to communicate and to move around evolved separately and very differently. Communication evolved with major innovation in development of languages and traveled through the stages of spoken language, written language, paper, printing, radio, television to internet. Even modern immersive telepresence systems and social networks are stages in this development. On the other hand from animal-based transportation to invention of the wheel to modern air-travel has been working towards reducing the distance. Interestingly, many tools developed for communication have also been reducing distance â€“ this started with writing on paper to now immersive telepresence systems.
It is common to hear that friends and people are in very close contact with each other due to systems like facebook. Clearly there is a close relationship between connecting people and connecting places. It is not surprising that when the price of gas goes up, people start thinking more about video conferencing. Interesting how communication mechanisms can replace transportation mechanisms.
As the technology progresses, it will be interesting to see what will be the technology for ubiquitous connectivity â€“ the connectivity that will bring connecting people and places even closer.