Thought Leadership

It’s a wireless world! No it isn’t.

By Robin Bornoff

The sheer amount of innovation and discovery regarding electrical and electro-magnetic behaviour in the 19th century is staggering. From Volta’s electrical cell in 1800 through to Faraday’s transformers and generators based on his theory of electro-magnetic induction in the 1830s, his theory of electro-magnetic fields in the 1850s, on to Hertz’s work on radio waves in the 1880s up to Marconi’s patenting of radio telegraphy in 1896. Great men who helped bootstrap us to the giddying heights of today’s electron/photon society. The resulting blight of wiring however affects us up to this day.

Design and manufacture of integrated circuits entails probably the most advanced technology and processes known to man. But as you zoom out the scales through wirebonding or C4 connections to the IC packaging on to soldered connections onto the PCB through to electrical connectors and out via insulated wires, the employed technology becomes, lets say, less refined. The ergonomic impact of the bit outside the box is frustratingly archaic.



Whilst we wait for the golden age where all inter-device communication is wireless and the platinum(?) age where power supply also sheds its wired yolk I’d like to propose two alternative uses for the abundance of wires that pollute our built environment today:

  • As an alternative to a dust cloth as wires, especially those tucked away behind your AV system, appear to have an uncanny habit of collecting dust in vast amounts.
  • As a military defence system for an advancing army so long as that army happens to be shuffling towards you on coastered chairs, the wires being simply laid on the floor in front of them.

Gary Numan, godfather of electronic music, recorded ‘I Dream of Wires’ in 1980, a dystopian look at the near future. O how right you were!

4th August 2010 Hampton Court

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at