Its hard to believe that just 15 years ago cell phones were a rarity. As soon back as 1990, if one could afford a cell phone device, you would be lucky to be able to afford the plan that came with it.
Yet today most communication is done via cell phones. Business is conducted, personal plans are made, and many parents rely on cell phone technology to keep their families safe and ease concerns of what ifs.
But the history of these seemingly must-have devices might be rather startling. Mobile phones that recognizable as the precursor to todays modern cell phones have been around since the 1950s. In fact, Humphrey Bogarts character Linus Larrabee in the 1954 film Sabrina uses a mobile phone in the back of his limousine.
Lets take a brief look at the history of the cell phone and how it made the transition from awkward, hard-to-use chunks of plastic to todays sleek, sophisticated cell phones models.
1865 The first person to produce a technology similar to cell phones was Dr. Mahlon Loomis. An American dentist from Virginia, Dr. Loomis was the first person to send wireless communications. Dr. Loomis launched copper-fitted kites which acted as antennas, and, thanks to the ability to bounce signals off Earths atmosphere while using the kites as signal boosters, he was able to send a wireless telegraph signal 18 miles without the use of ground wires. Though no witness was present, Dr. Loomis was the first individual able to expand on the amazing advances in communications brought by Michael Faraday (who proved that space can conduct electricity) and Samuel Morse (who invented the telegraph, the worlds first device to send signals electronically).
1956 Developed by Ericsson and released 1956, the first fully functioning cell phone was called the Mobile Telephone system A (MTA). The first model weighed 90 pound; a later version weighted 20 pounds. The business had 600 customers before it shut down in 1983.
1973 Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola unveiled the first analog mobile phone device. Called the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, the early cell phone would later become available for the public in 1983. It weighed about 2 pounds, had 1 hour of battery life, and cost a hefty $4,000.
1982 One year before the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X would be released, Nokia released their mobile device called the Mobira Senator. Designed for use in cars, the phone looked more like a boombox than todays modern cell phone. Plus, it weighted quite a bit: 21 pounds to be exact.
Today, cell phones come in all shapes, sizes, and with any kind of feature you would need. From GPS locating technology to driving directions, cell phones can take your photo, fetch news headlines, and remember your loved ones birthdays. And with the rise of the iPhone and smartphone technology as seen in the recent Blackberry Storm, the availability and uses of cell phone applications are endless.
Before purchasing a cell phone, make sure to consider what you may need. You no longer have to settle on what will just do. Do you like snapping candid videos? Is a cell phone calendar an important tool for you? Or do you just want to send and receive calls and not worry about too many additional features?
But whether you need fancy features or just a calling device, at least picking up your new cell phone doesnt mean you also need a gym membership the average weight of todays cell phones is 113 grams, compared to the 20-pound 1956 models.