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Emerging Technologies. 1 March 2006. Agenda. Assignments Recap More on digital divide in the US Lecture Discussion Leaders Lab. Assignments. Paper due Friday Presentation order (M/W) online Max five minutes! Send me files early and I will upload to main computer. Recap.

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Emerging technologies

Emerging Technologies

1 March 2006


  • Assignments

  • Recap

    • More on digital divide in the US

  • Lecture

  • Discussion Leaders

  • Lab


  • Paper due Friday

  • Presentation order (M/W) online

    • Max five minutes!

    • Send me files early and I will upload to main computer


  • Access is only part of the Digital Divide story

    • Although most of the DD story is outside our borders, it’s not just outside

  • Look at these data from Pew:

    • Broadband @ Home:

      • Rural: 24% adults

      • Suburban/Urban: 39% adults

Emerging technologies1
Emerging Technologies

  • Nature of bits puts pressure on many sectors of society

    • Sometimes the pressure is referred to as “convergence”

  • The latest sector is telephony

Emerging technologies

  • Mature technology

  • Dedicated voice network

  • End-to-end guaranteed bandwidth

    • Exception: disasters

  • Reasonably good security

  • Meets 9-1-1 regulatory requirements

What is voip
What is VoIP?

  • VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a way to first digitize voice and then encapsulate it into packets before transmitting over a (non-voice) packet-switched IP network.

  • It is sometimes called “internet telephony”

Differences 1 2
Differences (1/2)

  • Packet-switching versus circuit-switching

    • “Internet” technology allows several calls to use the same bit of bandwidth, because the bandwidth is not dedicated

  • This is possible because our voice is “digitized” and then that file is broken into small packets (bundles of bits)

Differences 2 2
Differences (2/2)

  • Power requirements

    • POTS corded phone works when the power goes out. (Cordless does not! Neither does VoIP.)

  • Telephone line is multi-use infrastructure

    • Some people use it for broadband (DSL)

    • Security systems, DVRs (Tivo, RePlay) “phone home” on it

  • 9-1-1

Locked to computer
Locked to Computer?

  • No! Businesses already using

  • No! Homeowners already using

  • Computer-to-phone: Skype and (soon?) Microsoft/MCI

  • “Portable” VoIP phones use wi-fi networks

    • Who provides “hot-spots”? Mostly telephone companies (AT&T, Verizon, Cingular etc.)

Pc world feb 2006
PC World, Feb 2006:

  • * My People is an Internet phone service provider with a cute name and features like wake-up calls and voice dialing . * EQO is a mobile-phone app with a hard-to-pronounce name (actually, it's easy once you know, but it's "echo"--not "E Q O") that lets you place and receive Skype calls. * Chili is a wireless gadget from a company with a weird name (ZinkKat) which is designed to let teenagers make VOIP calls, listen to music stored on a PC, and hear text-to-speech versions of RSS feeds--but the demo made it a bit difficult to figure out what exactly was going on.

Voip the new phone
VoIP: The New Phone

  • Subscribers end of 2005: 4.5 – 5.1 million

  • Subscribers end of 2006: 7.9 million

  • US Households by 2010: 115 million


  • See if service is available at your current address and determine the cost of service at Vonage and Speakeasy.net

    • Keep your current number (why?)

    • Make sure equipment costs are included


  • Despite of all the cool features and great rates of VoIP, what are the factors that may prevent people from NOT going to VoIP in the household?

  • Do you think the impacts of VoIP on society are positive or negative? And why?

  • How will VoIP change the landscape in how we communicate throughout the world?

    • What about those caught in the digital divide – will they be left behind?

Summary 1 4
Summary (1/4)

  • Digital technologies are transforming society at many different levels

  • Characteristics of new media are disruptive

    • “Zeros and Ones”

    • Modularity

    • Transcoding (tech layer & cultural layer)

  • Impacts on time/space

Summary 2 4
Summary (2/4)

  • Nevertheless, “new” media are more evolutionary than revolutionary

  • The growth in new media communication has led to info overload

    • How do we determine credibility?

    • Who/what used to do this for us?

Summary 3 4
Summary (3/4)

  • Network effects

    • Can affect adoption of new (exclusive) technology

    • Value of network increases exponentially with the size of the network

    • New forms of organization

  • Impacts on media, politics

    • “Emergent democracy”?

Summary 4 4
Summary (4/4)

  • But Many/Most are being left behind

    • What is our responsibility to them?

  • We live in a privileged place in time

Emerging technologies

  • Help with projects, website, PPTs

    • Help your neighbor?