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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Climate change, veterans, tax cuts: it was all there at Lake Cowichan all-candidates debate

All six candidates faced off in the final Cowichan Valley debate of this federal election season

Cowichan T-Birds finish 5th at Bridgman Cup

Cow High contends at Victoria’s prestigious field hockey tournament

Drivesmart column: Glaring fog lamps

I agree with this reader, I also find many fog lamps unreasonably bright

Providence pumpkin patch open Oct. 18 for U-pick

For the first time ever, the folks at Providence Farm therapeutic community… Continue reading

Valuable experience for Chargers at junior girls B.C. Christian tournament

DCS team improves steadily at event in Abbotsford

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Most Read