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

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Northwest B.C. leaders divided over oil tanker ban

Senate hearings in Prince Rupert and Terrace show Bill C-48 is at a crossroads

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read