Martin Cooper, the man who developed the first handheld cell phone. (Associated Press File)

Cell phone rings in 46th anniversary today

There have been some iconic phones over the years but what’s next?

April 3 marks the 46th anniversary of the first handheld mobile cell phone.

Can you guess which company developed it first? Apple, Nokia, Samsung?

Nope, Motorola.

ALSO READ: New app provides pathway for young athletes to report abuse

On April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher and executive made the first mobile telephone call from handheld equipment, calling his rival, Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.

The prototype was clunky, weighing a hefty 1.1 kilograms (2.4 pounds) and measuring 23 centimetres in length.

For consumers annoyed at the short battery charge of modern cell phones, spare a thought for Cooper who had to charge it for 10 hours to get 30 minutes talktime.

Over the years, the cell phone has developed from an extension of radio and static communications equipment, to a status symbol, core business tool and what it is now, a unit that contains the entire knowledge of known human civilization in your pants pocket. And cat videos.

ALSO READ: Whatever happened to elevator music?

Some phones have become nostalgic and cultural icons. Remember Michael Douglas and his brick-like Motorola DynaTAC, a symbol of power and yuppy culture in the movie Wall Street?

Or maybe Neo’s Nokia 8110 “banana phone,” popularized in the Wachowski siblings movie, The Matrix?

There have even been reports of gang members trading in the latest Apple handsets for early 2000s favourite the Nokia 3210 for the incredible battery life and the difficulty law enforcement have in accessing the phones for surveillance. It also comes with classic game Snake built in.

Cell phone screens now have 400 pixels per inch, over four times what the early phones had.

Parts that flip, sliding keys, ergonomic designs, tiny screens to all screen, predictive text, flashlights, pens, cameras, ringtones, music, two-handed phones, aerials, fat, slim, lipstick, chunk, apps. The list of innovations and changes goes on.

ALSO READ: Victim of cyber attack speaks out, highlights Sidney generosity

But what of the future?

Analysts say longer batteries, image projection and more accurate voice to text software are likely in the not-too-distant future. In the longer term, ambitious features are thought to include wireless charging, flexible phones that can be folded, colour changing frames and credit cards incorporated into the phone itself.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘A bottomless well of love for people and communities’

Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor JR Rardon dies at age 61

NDP pushing for 10 days of paid sick days for all working Canadians

NDP has made the issue a requirement for their support of the Liberal government

No plans to rebuild Hardy Bay Industrial Centre after fire, owner says

A massive fire burnt down the old building in April

Port Hardy Fire Rescue adapts to new realities amidst COVID-19

Don’t forget to follow Port Hardy Fire Rescue on Facebook.

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Most Read