The mobile phone industry is celebrating the 40th anniversary on April 3rd, 2013. The first mobile device was invented in 1973, but nobody anticipated the remarkable evolution that this product will have within less than half a century.
Nowadays, people use phones to do pretty much everything: check the email, keep in touch with friends, read newspapers, play and even learn new things. Nobody would ever guess that the first conversation with a mobile phone was made 40 years ago, given the current advanced technology. And yet, it was 40 years ago, on April 3rd, 2013 that Martin Cooper, a senior engineer at Motorola, called its colleagues at a rivaling company to let them know that he was using a “real cellular telephone” to make distant conversations.
Mobile phones have been quickly embraced by consumers, who, in turn, favored the production of much more advanced and elaborated devices. A research performed in 2012 showed that there were more than six billion people with mobile phone subscriptions in the entire world. That is, only 1 billion less than the worldwide population (7 billion) registered in 2012.
Dr Mike Short CBE, former president of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and Vice President of Telefonica Europe could not help but notice the amazing progress that the industry has made in only 40 years. He told reporters at BBC that the mobile phone has started as a businessman’s tool and quickly became a consumerist tool for Internet access and other activities related to it. He estimates that the future will bring a much wider variety of mobile devices, including wearable ones like the prototypes that Google and Apple are preparing at present. The human senses will be the ones inspiring the new collections of wearable devices. Our vision, Short noticed, has already inspired the production of Google’s Glass, the intelligent pair of glasses that will function like a personal computer. Short also revealed that companies are now working to create “health measurement body vests” that can communicate with your phone and, if necessary with your doctor.
85-year-old Martin Cooper is considered to be the “father” of the mobile phone. According to his declaration, the first mobile devices that have been created were very expensive ($3,500). However, the engineer was certain that the price of the cellular phone will drop with the passing of the years and the product will become affordable to all social classes. Cooper also envisioned the production of smaller and highly portable devices. “We did envision that someday the phone would be so small that you could hang it on your ear or even have it embedded under your skin,” he said.
Martin Cooper described the creation of the first mobile phone as one of his greatest achievements. He was glad that he was, thus, able to make people’s lives easier and bring a significant contribution to their well-being.