Yes, they’re still here. Now even in a better shape.14 August 2017 12:00
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Facsimile, or fax, is a device that lets you transmit documents, be it letters or pictures, using radio or telephone signals and reproduce an exact copy of document on the recipient’s end. If you’re young enough to not know what it is, fret not, we’re here to remind you what an amazing invention fax is.
It all started in 1843 — yes, that long ago — when Alexander Bain invented the first technology to send an image over a wire. Frederick Bakewell then improved the invention and made an image telegraph that was similar to today’s fax machine.
In the 1860s, Giovanni Caselly created a pantelegraph that became widely used for image transmission. His machine worked much better than Bain’s and Bakewell’s. The concept was improved throughout the late 1800s and 1900s, especially after the telephone was invented. In 1964, Xerox introduced Long Distance Xerography that enabled document transfer via telephone line in a relative short time and it’s the start of fax machine as we know it today. Learn more about the long history of fax here.
2. How the machine works
Don’t be like Jackson. Facsimile is not magic and your printer cannot talk to you.
First of all, you scan the original document with your fax machine. Then, the image or text will be processed into a bitmap. The telephone system will transmit the bitmap code in audio-frequency tone form. The receiving machine will get the tone and re-transform it into the original form of the original document.
3. Fax is more secure than you’d think!
Common belief might say that fax is obsolete (looking at you, Museum of Obsolete Things Youtube Channel!), but fax is actually still used widely because of its security. In the digital age like this, using emails might be easier and faster, but internet is never really safe. Remember the Sony Entertainment hacking in 2015 that leaked some unreleased movies? Or iCloud hacking that leaked many private pictures of celebrities? Fax wouldn’t let that happen. In fact, companies like Sony and some US’ state agencies opt to communicate using fax to prevent hacking or tempering.
4. Digital fax exists
It’s the era of internet but most business players still prefer to use fax to transmit certain documents, for security reason or simply because it is what they’re used to. But people can’t bring fax machine anywhere they go, can they? So this is where digital fax comes in.
Rather than going to a scanner and sending all those words in email, you can just put your docs into a fax machine then it’ll be sent to your recipient right away in the form of a pdf, and they can open it on their mobile phone right away. NGN Telecom, a digital fax provider, claim their technology has military-grade encryption, so it will be safe and that’s why militaries around the world use it! The PDF would also be compressed to 10-20 Kb per page, so you’d need less data to get them later!
5. You can try your own digital fax!
You don’t have to be a big-shot businessman to try digital fax. As long as you have an email address (or you can steal one from your parents), you can use it! It would be useful if you deal with document transfers on daily basis or you just cannot stand slow internet connection when you need to receive something from your colleagues. Lucky for you, our friends at NGN Telecom are keen to help you to try digital fax right now! Click this link and you’ll get a personalized digital fax number to use right away!