informa
/
2 min read
article

Inventor Of Cellphones Says They're Too Complicated Now

Former Motorola researcher Martin Cooper -- one of the inventors of the cellphone back in 1973 -- says that the devices do too much these days, and don't do any of them well. Is a JitterBug in Cooper's future?
Former Motorola researcher Martin Cooper -- one of the inventors of the cellphone back in 1973 -- says that the devices do too much these days, and don't do any of them well. Is a JitterBug in Cooper's future?Cooper was speaking at a privacy conference in Madrid earlier this week and said some interesting things. The man is 80 years old, and took part in the first cellular phone call on April 3, 1973, from a street corner in New York City.

He noted, "Whenever you create a universal device that does all things for all people, it does not do any things well. Our future I think is a number of specialist devices that focus on one thing that will improve our lives." I don't blame Cooper for his opinion. The mobile landscape has changed dramatically in the last three years, let alone the last 30.

Cooper reminisces about the first handset -- if you can call it that. "The first cell phone model weighed over one kilo and you only could talk for 20 minutes before the battery ran out, which is just as well because you would not be able to hold it up for much longer."

This prototype device was later followed by car phones, which were anchored in vehicles because the batteries were so large they were inconvenient to carry around. Obviously, technology has improved a wee bit since then. I'm rather surprised he hasn't heaped praise on his former employer's latest accomplishment, the Motorola Droid. It's quite a powerful device, more computer than phone, and shows just how far we've come.

Cooper added, "What we did with this mobile telephone was create a revolution. Before the mobile phone existed we were calling a place, now we are calling a person."

We're doing a lot more than calling. Emails, texts, picture messages, instant messages, Tweets, and Facebook updates are just some of the ways we're using cellphones to remain in contact with our colleagues, family and friends.