On April 3, 1973 – fifty years ago today – my dear friend Marty Cooper (then an engineer at Motorola) made history. Standing on a street corner in NYC, he called his rival at Bell Labs and said, “I’m calling from a personal, handheld, portable cell phone.” That moment was the beginning of the modern era of wireless communication.
While Bell Laboratories had been focusing on developing car-based phones, Cooper and Motorola believed in a different future. They envisioned a world where people were no longer trapped by wires; half a century later, it’s clear they were right.
The commercial version of Cooper’s prototype, the Motorola Dynatac 8000X, was released in 1984. It had a price tag equivalent to $11,700 today, with no messaging, camera, or apps – just calls. Fast forward to 2023, and we carry handheld network-connected supercomputers in our pockets.
Despite the progress, Marty believes there’s still room for improvement, especially in terms of design and user experience. He envisions a future where artificial intelligence will tailor apps and experiences to individual needs, monitor our health, maximize productivity, and more. Marty also has a strong POV about how much better and more efficient communications would be if we used wireless spectrum more responsibly.
Congrats and thank you, @MobileMarty. Sending you big hugs on this remarkable day! -s
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.