This week marks the 40th birthday of our beloved best friend, the mobile phone. On April 3rd 1973 Dr Martin Cooper made the very first call to his rival, Joel Engel from Bell Systems, whilst walking the streets of New York City on the first Motorola DynaTAC prototype. Little did he know how this small step with technology would revolutionise our everyday lives for the next 40 years.
The first mobile phones weighed over 2 pounds and had a battery life of about 35 minutes. Today one of the best selling phones, the Samsung Galaxy III, weighs just over 130 grams and has a standby time of over 590 hours! So while we’re constantly moaning about our batteries being drained, let’s just stop for a second to think about how lucky we are that it even lasts more than half an hour, as was the case in 1973.
According to the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the mobile phone industry is estimated to take in $1.2T USD in revenue and this will only continue to grow and expand. Mobile phones are perhaps the fastest growing technology to date as reports have shown more people have mobile phones than they have toilets. We can’t live without our mobiles, but why should we? They are an integral part of our world that help us stay connected to our friends, family and work wherever in the world we may be in.
When did the day come where mobile phones became our prized possessions we never let go of? Even when we’re sleeping we take them to bed with us. We’ve become entranced just like Gollum (with his ring), in The Lord of the Rings, where our mobile phones are our very own ‘precious’. We put locks and pass codes on so no one can go on to access our personal information. We hate family and friends even touching our phones. Martin Cooper could never have envisaged how obsessive we have become with mobile phones.
Mobile phones were initially used for calling each other, however today we use mobile phones for almost anything. Mobile phone use is not just limited to calling, texting, social networking, playing games, taking photos and browsing the net. Now there are many apps on the market that you can download to do other important everyday tasks such as mobile banking, watching television and even learning a new language.
At the rate technology is changing, the possibilities of mobile phone innovations are endless, and this has been shown with Sony’s new water resistant Xperia mobile phone. One can only wonder what’ll be in store for the mobile phone in the next 40 years. I guess we’ll have to just wait till the year 2053 to find out.