The History and Future of Intercoms: More Than Word of Mouth Alone!

While intercom history has existed since as far back as 1894, the fact of the matter is that these systems have progressed by leaps and bounds in recent years. It can even be argued that the very first "intercom" was invented when Alexander Graham Bell spoke to Watson in 1876 with those famous words "Watson, come here...I need you!". As you might have already guessed, the basic concept behind the traditional intercom was to utilise a hard-wired telephone network to communicate between two or more individuals. These systems were generally used for intra-office communications and within very wealthy properties such a mansions. While there have been many different variants, the role of the intercom has remained relatively unchanged for more than a century.

Leaps Forward


Many of us believe that wireless technology is a product of the past two decades. In fact, the concept for the wireless intercom was first conceived as far back as 1956. The invention of the humble transistor dramatically miniaturised the parts within an intercom and more importantly, multi-directional communications (including wireless capabilities) became much more of a reality. These transistors also served to replace the bulky and fragile vacuum tubes which were prevalent at the time. By 1982, transistors were being widely employed to achieve wireless connections and to supply an intercom with audio-visual capabilities (a fictional concept up until this point). It was therefore possible for a user to see a face on the other end of the line; critical in terms of security. Perhaps most importantly, the miniaturisation and mass production of these units finally made them affordable to the general public. This was when the concept of the intercom truly began to catch on.

Adapting To The Needs of the Public


Many of us believe that wireless technology is a product of the past two decades. In fact, the concept for the wireless intercom was first conceived as far back as 1956. The invention of the humble transistor dramatically miniaturised the parts within an intercom and more importantly, multi-directional communications (including wireless capabilities) became much more of a reality. These transistors also served to replace the bulky and fragile vacuum tubes which were prevalent at the time. By 1982, transistors were being widely employed to achieve wireless connections and to supply an intercom with audio-visual capabilities (a fictional concept up until this point). It was therefore possible for a user to see a face on the other end of the line; critical in terms of security. Perhaps most importantly, the miniaturisation and mass production of these units finally made them affordable to the general public. This was when the concept of the intercom truly began to catch on.

Adapting to the Needs of the Public


As the demand for these intercoms grew, manufacturers such as Telguard needed to come up with a wide variety of options for their customers to choose from. However, there were some hurdles to overcome. Not every consumer possessed a landline at their home. Even fewer had (or desired to have) a mobile device in the 1980s and even into the early 1990s. A learning curve also existed, as some were unable to grasp how a simple telephone line could open a door or allow someone entry into a specific location. As time went on, these issues became less prevalent and the role of the intercom system began to take on a modern feel.

Specialisation and Diversification


Intercom history continues to advance at a frenetic pace into these modern times. Major companies such as Telguard now provide a host of categories to choose from. These include baby monitors, multi-occupancy models, gate entry systems, one-touch controls and much more. Streamlined intercom systems provide us with the safety and security that we desire. So, it only makes sense that they have become an essential part of our daily lives.

The Future of Intercoms


Thanks to the advent of 3G and 4G mobile communication speeds, the future of intercom systems seems to have no boundaries. There is no doubt that smartphones will play an important role, as users can now immediately access these networks even while out and about. Another important point to mention is that modern intercom systems can double as remote security networks. In the event of a fault, the user will be notified. He or she can then either cancel the alert or contact the relevant authorities. It is clear to see that intercoms now serve many other purposes than merely two-way communications alone. We can only wonder what the near future may hold!