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The Cell Phone | INVENTORS | PBS Digital Studios

The Cell Phone | INVENTORS | PBS Digital Studios


The basic issue is that people are fundamentally
mobile. So the idea of having wires to make a conversation is really not very natural. My name is Marty Cooper. I conceived of and
introduced the first portable — oh, excuse me. Hello? Oh, hi, George. George, I’m really tied up at the moment.
Do you mind if I call you back? Oh, thank you so much. Bye now. As I was saying. I conceived of and introduced
the first cellular telephone in April of 1973. Now the concept of cellular telephony is really
very simple. It breaks the city up into a lot of small areas which being engineers we
had to come up with a new name and we called them cells. And the second concept is being
able to move from one cell to another and having a continuous conversation. The first public cellular call was made in
New York. I was with Motorola at that time and I thought a dramatic thing to do was to
call my counterpart at AT&T. So I dialed the phone, and I said, “Hi, Joel. It’s Marty Cooper.”
He said, “Hi, Marty.” I said, “I’m calling you from my cell phone.”
And there was silence at the other end of the line. The idea for the shape of the first phone
started out with me approaching Motorola’s design group. I told them that I wanted to
have a really dazzling design. And two weeks later they had a flip phone, they had a slider
phone. But we selected this phone because it was simple. What’s important about any technology is that
the technology is hopefully invisible but at least transparent and maybe intuitive.
Think about it. The purpose of technology is to make your life better. Most cell phones
don’t do that very well. In fact, they force us to become engineers, to learn a bunch of
new things. And we shouldn’t have to do that. The ideal phone would be one where I would
just talk to the phone, or maybe the phone would read my mind, and it would do things
to make my life better. And all of us have these complicated phones. And they all try
to be universal. If you try to build a device that does all things for all people, it won’t
do any of them very well. So I think that’s where we are with cell phones today.

27 thoughts on “The Cell Phone | INVENTORS | PBS Digital Studios”

  1. Amazing, he invented CELL PHONES, a technology the revolutionised the way we interact with eachother. Also I would say he saved lives as well for SURE, allowing that connectivity, allowing people to be ANYWHERE and communicate he is truly amazing, convenient and important. I can't believe I had never heard of this man before, or more like him who have made our lives vastly enhanced. I am in awe Sir, thank you for this amazing technology. Thank you very much.

  2. So that's why its called a CELL-phone. I always thought it was something to do with it being a phone powered by cells in a battery.
    Thank you Martin, and thank you PBS and David for making this.

  3. I'd always heard of the man, even the first call. I'd never seen him though; simply awesome.

    Thank you PBS for helping make me not quite so ignorant a child. Add to that my thanks for continuing the job.

  4. Great video. However I have to say I don't agree with his definition of technology. For me it is something that is suppose to push the possibilities further. and cramming loads of things into one is a type of technological advancement. having all these functionalities on my smartphone helps me. But I do see where he is coming from. he most likely doesn't use many functionalities of his phone. But some people, like me, do.

  5. I love how he talks about the siimplicity of a phone and how it should be easy to use and so he doesnt have a stupid iPhone! i think thats awesome

  6. he "conceived of, and introduced the first cellular telephone". what a sweet guy. thank God for people like this man.

  7. I cetain that he made the earth as a borderless village and in the future times, we can talk
    (chat) with the habitants on the Mars

  8. I still use the brick phone, a Motorola International 3200 GSM brick phone from 1992.
    I wouldn't be without it for anything and it follows me to work everyday, no Smartphone for me!

  9. A wonderful, brilliant, charming man who, by his closing words, is fascinatingly out of touch with the relevancy of his invention. The cell phone is the spark that drove the current age of mobile information. I hardly use my phone to talk but this little chunk of tech is in my hands all day and night because it feeds me information and entertainment on demand.

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