Please Note: This blog article was originally written and published by Jacob Block.
Give fax a break already.
It’s a sad day for one of the world’s most unfairly maligned pieces ofhardware. Fax machines just made No. 14 in a list of 15 Current Technologies a Child Born Today Will Never Use. The blogger, Laptop Magazine’s Online Editorial Director AvramPiltch, slotted the hapless device all the way down at No. 14,
and for analready misunderstood “gadget that had its heyday in the 1970s” that’s got tohurt.
Now, to be fair, Piltch was only talking about fax machines, and heis almost certainly correct that those appliances will eventually go the way ofthe dodo. What he failed to mention–and what is too often overlooked–is that faxtechnology itself (which has already proven its value and resilience for more than a century) can look forward to many more years of usefulness and ubiquitybefore being forced into early retirement by younger, more attractive methods ofcommunication……or a super-intelligent army of robots.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem is not the technology: peopleare faxing higher volumes faster than ever before, in many cases between IPaddresses straight from their email client, or even automatically aspreconfigured batches while they sleep. It’s the word: FAX. People can’t helpbut associate fax with the fax machine and a bygone era of cigarettes andleisure suits.
Facsimile or fax simply means a copy sent using voice technology.
With thegrowing popularity and availability of Fax over IP (FoIP) , there are now dozens of ways to do this securely, even without much of a reliance on analog phone lines or fax machines.Fax servers, protocols and delivery methods are still constantly evolving andhave not yet lost pace with competing communication options.
Finally, Mr. Piltch, I will not “let go of the signature requirement.” That“lame excuse for the continued use of the fax machine” is still a verycompelling one for newer fax technologies.
Keep in mind that fax is a simple,point-to-point transmission involving only two people (the sender and thereceiver). A fax can be verifiably tracked throughout its journey betweenfriends and is still much more secure than email or an online signature where receipt confirmation is absent. Fax is still the only transmission that won’tfall down in any court, and thousands of people even use fax to vote in federalelections. Because the basic technology of fax is so simple, it is everywhere:essentially, anyone anywhere in the world who has a phone jack has thecapability to fax. This makes it ideal for doing business across industries andborders.
Every day the delusion is spreading that fax is no longer relevant,
but withhundreds of millions of faxes being sent and received every single day, I justdon’t buy it.