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

First Nation community signs enforcement agreement with Conservation Officer Service

This is the fourth such agreement in the Cariboo Chilcotin

100 per cent of Cariboo businesses have had to reduce employee hours or lay employees off, study finds

This survey was conducted by the BC Chamber of Commerce called the COVID-19 Impact Pulse Check #3

B.C. First Nation adopts historic law to protect Fraser River

?Esdilagh (Alexandria) First Nation leaders enacted the law this week

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

B.C. woman launches First Nations search, rescue and patrol program

Linda Peters envisions trained searchers ready to go at moment’s notice in each B.C. First Nation

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read