Needless to say, phones have become a necessity in today’s age. Not just for calling people, but for using tons of various features and services that it provides. But do you know when and where it all started? The first mobile phone call was made 50 years today, on April 3, 1973, by Motorola employee Martin Cooper, as per BBC.
Mr Cooper made the historic call from Sixth Avenue in New York while walking between 53rd and 54th streets. At the time, Mr Cooper was working on a project to develop the first portable cell phone, which was dubbed the DynaTAC (Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage). He made the call to Joel Engel, his counterpart at rival firm Bell Laboratories to tell him that he was calling from “a personal, handheld, portable cell phone”.
”Joel, this is Marty. I’m calling you from a cell phone, a real handheld portable cell phone,” he said “There was a silence at the other end. I suspect he was grinding his teeth,” Mr Cooper reminisced about the historic call in a 2011 BBC interview.
Unlike the sleek mobile phones that we have today, the early phones, almost as big as a shoebox, allowed a user to talk for 25 minutes and required 10 hours to recharge, according to Wired magazine.
It took a further 10 years for the first mobile to be marketed. According to an AFP report, Motorola started selling the DynaTAC 8000X in the United States for $3,995 in 1983.
“This phone weighed over a kilo — about two and a half pounds — and had a battery life of roughly 25 minutes of talking. That was not a problem. This phone was so heavy, you couldn’t hold it up for 25 minutes,” Mr Cooper said.
Looking back on the past 50 years, Mr Cooper, said the neat little device we all have in our pockets has almost boundless potential and could one day even help conquer disease.
”The cell phone has now become an extension of the person, it can do so many more things. And in that regard, we are just at the very beginning. We’re just starting to understand what that could do. In the future, we can expect the cell phone to revolutionize education, it will revolutionize healthcare. I know that sounds like an exaggeration, but I want you to know within a generation or two, we are going to conquer disease,” he said.
Currently, Mr Cooper wears an Apple Watch and uses a top-end iPhone, and connects his hearing aids to his phone.
”I’m an optimist. I know there are disadvantages to the cell phone. We do have people that get addicted to it. We have people walking across the street talking on their cell phones. Overall, I think the cell phone has changed humanity for the better and that will continue in the future”, Mr Cooper told CNN.
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