10 Everyday Technologies You Don't Realize You Use


Did you know you use radio waves to listen to Katy Perry on your AM/FM? Of course you do. It seems like one of those simple, quaint technologies that even our grandparents understand, right? It's unlikely, though, that your grandparents can explain cell phones, television broadcasts, GPS or virtually any wireless technology. So let's just see how radio does more than let you listen to sports talk radio in your car.

While we don't have the space to get into exactly how all radios work (but you can check out a lot more information here), just know that radios need a transmitter, a receiver and an antenna to translate, receive and transmit information. That simple technology is added on to and made more complicated to get something like your cell phone to work.

The biggest one you probably use is your WiFi system. Your computer's wireless adapter is sending out radio waves. Antennas transmit the waves to your router, which is physically hooked to the Internet (Ethernet). The process, of course, goes two ways.

Did you know your cable is also using radio? Indeed, although your cable is physically hooked into an antenna, you're still receiving radio signals -- only it's not radio signals sent over the air but through the fiber-optic cable installed into your cable box.