OpenText recently published an infographic on the history of fax. You can see the full size version here .
What I found most interesting in doing research for the infographic is that while the original fax technology was created over 150 years ago, it really didn’t become ubiquitous until the late 1970s or early 1980’s– a little more than a decade before the widespread use of email. And while many believed email would completely wipe out fax in a short time, fax remains a readily available and reliable technology for exchanging information.
While there hasn’t been much innovation in fax machines (plain paper fax machines in 1987?),
there has been innovation in fax technology – especially fax software and services. Fax servers, FoIP, and cloud fax services have all been innovations in fax technology that make it easier for businesses and individuals to fax. And because most faxed documents start out as electronic documents, these technologies allow paperless faxing and electronic storage of fax images.
Without these innovations, “Paperless faxing” is an oxymoron.
The latest innovation in fax technology is hybrid faxing – where companies combine on-premises fax software and cloud-based fax transmission. You can learn more about hybrid faxing at www.futureoffax.com .