The past, present and future of mobile phones

Here are some interesting facts about the world's first mobile phone:
  • It was born in 1973.
  • It was invented by someone called Martin Cooper from Motorola.
  • It weighed two kilos. (Not very mobile then!)
  • Its battery alone weighed four or five times an entire mobile phone now. Its lifetime was 20 minutes.
  • Its production cost was the equivalent of USD1m in today's money.
  • The original idea for its production was to help doctors and hospital staff improve their communications.

There were a few things that Martin Cooper, the Father of Mobile Phones, could not have predicted about the development of his invention in three and a half decades, such as

  • its pervasiveness - more than half the people on Earth now have mobile phones
  • its social implications - he had no idea that concepts like Facebook and Twitter would ever happen
  • its annoyance - "We could not have predicted the annoyance that people have when the phone rings at the opera," he said. "But it doesn't take a cellular phone to make people be rude."

And what is his prediction for the future of mobile phones?

He believes that users will be able to dispense with the device altogether. "The cellphone in the long range is going to be embedded under your skin behind your ear along with a very powerful computer who is in effect your slave," he said.

If the prediction is correct, we may well live to see this sci-fi-like scene.

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