What do you imagine when you hear the term digital technology? It must be something familiar, such as a computer and all its supporting devices.
Apparently, this is not quite right considering that computers are only one result of digital technology. So what exactly is the meaning of digital technology itself?
Digital technology is a tool that no longer uses manual human labor, but rather an automatic operating system with a computerized system or a format that can be read by a computer.
Digital technology is basically just a very fast calculating system that processes all forms of information as numeric values (digital codes).
Meanwhile, digital communication technology is a technology based on computer electrical signals, the signal is intermittent and uses a binary number system. Binary numbers will form a digital code (1 and 0 based on the presence of electric current or not which is regulated by the transistor).
The digital code will be processed by the computer. For example, a video camera image that has been converted from light waves into digital form in the form of pixels.
Difference between Digital and Analog Technology
As previously explained, digital technology is a very fast calculating system by processing information in the form of digital codes or numerical values (numbers). Before processing, a sensor is needed that converts real information into digital code (an example is a digital camera).
The digital code sent by the sensor will then be processed by a computer (microprocessor) which in every digital device must be present. From the results of digital data processing, the information will be displayed on the screen.
Analog technology is basically just a simple tool with certain programs that are set with certain settings, such as analog computers.
Analog computers are basically measuring devices and are usually used in machines to provide information and automatic control. The disadvantage of analog technology is that it cannot measure accurately and takes a long time to process information.
An example of analog technology is a regular telephone (not a smart phone or smartphone), while the digital technology is a telephone that uses an internet signal.
Analog technology can also be said to be a transition technology from mechanical technology to digital technology where mechanical technology prioritizes mechanical or manual systems.
In mechanical technology, there is no need for a computer or microprocessor to regulate and operate it because it already has a structured mechanical system. The weakness of this mechanical system is that the arrangement is limited and consists of many mechanical parts that require special care.
Digital Technology Development
The development of digital technology has opened the digital era and in general it can be seen in the following 3 things.
- The birth of the computer in 1940 and its development since then
- The birth of the internet or the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989
The birth of social networking sites (social media) in 1997 and its widespread use since the 2000s
Advantages of Digital Technology
Each type of technology has its own advantages, here are some advantages of digital technology:
- Data sent from one place to another is not affected by bad weather and noise because the data is transmitted in the form of digital signals.
- Various types of communication systems are available and can be used.
- Lower maintenance costs because it is more practical and stable.
Disadvantages of Digital Technology
In addition to having advantages, each type of technology has side effects, here are some disadvantages of digital technology:
Errors that may occur when converting analog signals to digital (digitizing).
Possible theft of important digital data such as account numbers, work data, etc. by hackers or viruses.
Creates an over-dependence on the user, which can seriously impede empathy and social skills.
The emergence of digital technology at the end of the decade of the 70s marked a technological revolution. The term digital itself is an antonym or opposite of the term analog.
Where, digital technology is a form of development of analog technology, but it is different from that technology. Digital technology does not store data or information in the form of images and sound.
While data storage is the process of storing data in a computer or a hard disk media, flash disk, CD and others with the aim of keeping the data from being lost when it is opened and processed again in the future.
Basically digital technology processes all forms of information as numeric values so that they can be read by computers. One example is a cellular telephone, where when calling a digit is sent to a recipient somewhere using radio waves.
The recipient’s phone then re-converts the received numbers into sound that can be heard by the recipient.