The original facsimile machine, patented in 1843 by Scottish inventor Alexander Bain, was originally considered an “image telegraph” since telephones wouldn’t be invented for another 29 years. Today, most businesses still use these ancient artifacts because for years, faxing was the only way to exchange documents that needed signing or reading. But no longer.
“In this day and age, small businesses no longer have to say, ‘I’m out of the office right now, I didn’t get your fax,'” says Ramon Ray, author and editor at Smallbiztechnology.com. “That excuse is irrelevant—you can get a fax anywhere.”
With the ability to share information instantaneously from the Web or the cloud onto computers, phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, the fax machine is quickly going the way of the beeper. Eventually, we may never have to deal with missed faxes, busy signals, and paper jams again.