Since its invention at the beginning of the 20th century, the concept of radio frequencies has been very common throughout modern life. However, if your only awareness of radio frequencies in general is through listening to the radio, you likely are not aware of the many other ways in which they appear in society.
Were you aware that the cell phone you carry around with you on a daily basis requires radio frequencies to run? It’s true—although you might think that cellular networks are different than radio ones, they run off of very similar types of technology. This is why cellular towers carry the signal, as they use radio transmission in order to transmit communication. On top of this, cell phones themselves contain transmitters and receivers that operate over a wide variety of frequencies. This is also why you might have trouble hearing the radio when you put a cell phone near it, as the frequencies often conflict with each other. For more details on how cell phones utilize radio frequencies, check out this article on how cell phones work.
Though you might not have a baby monitor yourself, they’re a popular tool in our society for parents who want to keep track of their kids. In fact, the way in which baby monitors are used are actually perfect for modeling how radio receivers work, as they’re typically structured like mini radio stations. The part that sits in the baby’s room is the transmitter, with the receiver being the part that the parents hold to hear if there are any sounds. This is actually an incredibly simple way of using radio frequencies that allows you to harness the power they wield in your very own home! They’re also incredibly timeless tools that are useful to parents anywhere who want to have a grasp on exactly how their child is behaving while not in one’s sightline.
Have you ever wondered how TV is even broadcasted to your home? It’s actually done through the technology of radio frequencies, believe it or not. When radio frequency technology was pioneered at the beginning of the 20th century, it didn’t take long after the popularization of the radio for developers to realize that this innovation could be utilized to also provide visual entertainment to millions around the globe. This was more apparent in earlier TV designs that featured rods above the monitor itself to act as a receiver for radio frequency transmission. In modern times, technology has evolved enough that now it’s possible to mask that technology, giving us the standard rectangular TVs that we are used to today. However, it’s worth noting that no matter how much you innovate the concept of a TV, it will always be some type of radio frequency-oriented device.
One of the most curious ways in which one uses radio frequencies in real-life involves houses. For example, did you know that the alarm system that you equip your house with uses radio frequencies? What about your garage door opener? These are all ways in which radio frequencies are used to allow your house to communicate with various other parts of your life in ways you might not have been aware of previously. When your house is communicating with another part of your house, whether it be through your car’s garage clicker or telling an outside source that somebody has broken into your house, you’re actually using radio frequencies.
As you can imagine, the many different ways in which radio frequencies have changed modern life also brought some new regulations into play. This is why the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have a series of requirements that manufacturers must abide to if they want to legally produce helpful products.