Hit the road jack

If you’ve read our quarterly newsletter then you’ll be quite clued up on the progression of the invention of the telephone, something to which we owe our jobs. What we’ve seen is that even the smallest idea and weirdest sounding invention can create a huge impact for centuries to come.

This is especially relevant this week as it marks the 90th Anniversary of the first peek at a Television. Commemorated in a Google doodle on Tuesday, 90 years since John Baird’s ‘televisor’ was demonstrated to a group of Royal Institution scientists. However we’re here to talk about a much smaller bit of kit.

Can you imagine a life without TV? What about plugging in and shutting the world out?

One tiny piece of tech that has been around since 1878 is still used every single day by millions of people all over the world. The headphone jack, a shrunk down version of the 1/4 inch jack (6.35mm) jacks that were used by operators in switchboards before Bell’s invention of the telephone really took off, it’s remained virtually unchanged since it’s invention, only to be miniaturised to a 3.5mm jack for personal use.

1/4 inch and 3.5 mm headphone jack

To many people’s horror, it is rumoured that Apple have decided they can do better than an invention that’s been around for nearly 150 years. The idea is that they scrap the socket and use their ‘lightening’ port (currently used as the charging port), this has caused outrage, as it will force customers to use the brand’s earphones.

It’s a rarity that a piece of equipment has remained virtually unchanged and universal for such a long time. Just like the phone they’ve really progressed over the years, with images of Edison donning a very fashionable set of ‘primitive headphones’ or rubber tubes to you and I. Essentially headphones stem from the family of the phone, with a receiver and transmitter In fact, earphones were called telephones to begin with!

Audio Engineering Society member, Charlie Slee has commented that the outrage has been sparked by people fearing a loss of control of their technology. He highlights that:

"The big technology companies have always been in control of how you listen to music and watch videos."
Charlie Slee

A simple, effective piece of kit has clearly worked for this long and we like to think the same with On Hold Marketing, it’s simple but it’s so effective. We also agree with Charlie that companies, just like yours are able to retain an element of control, you can decide perhaps not how but what your customers listen to. The telephone isn't going anywhere soon so we should make the most of it now before someone tries to change everything!

Related Blog Posts: 

Evolution of the Telephone Part 3

Evolution of the Telephone Part 2

Evolution of the Telephone Part 1