Friday, March 28, 2008

No Thanks Martin

Martin Coopers vision of the sim card implanted at birth with everyone having their own telephone number for life has failed to live up to his vision for the future.

When Martin Cooper invented the mobile phone 35 years ago, he envisioned a world with people so wedded to wireless connections that they would walk around with devices embedded in their bodies.

Cooper said he was so enthused after his first mobile call that he liked to joke that phone numbers would become so important that "when you were born you would get a phone number and if you didn't answer it you would die."

"The idea is that the phone number becomes part of you," said Cooper, who is also waiting for the day when he merely thinks about calling a particular person and the phone will automatically dial the number.

Great vision Martin, but thank goodness this has not come to pass.

When he made that first phone call in 1973, there were no commercial models. Now there are 3 billion. If only he had got a dollar a phone in royalties for each one.

Where I do agree with him is that they are way too complicated to use. I am completely flummoxed way too often with my current phone. Cooper reckons a phone that is lighter than the manual is a stupid design. I agree.

But what a vision.

"It was a really risky thing to do," said Cooper. "People thought I was crazy thinking about a phone you can just put in your pocket."

One of our friends was telling us recently that some of the early adopters were doctors, who would come onto the ward with their stethescopes and their mobile somewhat portable phone, complete with suitcase to hold the battery and the trolley to pull it around.

And they can be very annoying.

This new generation of loud ring tones has got to be one of societies blights.

Can you hang on a minute. I need to get this call.......

And finally even Cubans can have them. There really is no limits to their appeal. Perhaps we can get some decent ringtones.

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