The mobile phone celebrated its 40th birthday this month with the anniversary highlighting just how far the technology has come. From humble beginnings, the invention has since evolved from a nine-inch tall ‘brick’ containing 30 circuit boards to a video-playing, GPS-enabled pocket jukebox.
Anyone who refutes the claim this device has become an everyday essential for users of all ages should pause to consider this statistic: the number of people on our planet with access to a mobile phone is now thought to be larger than the number of people with access to a toothbrush (approx. 5bn versus 4.2bn
An innovation that has changed our lives
An expert from the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Dr Mike Short, commented: “Since its first use 40 years ago, the mobile phone has completely changed our lives.
[alert color=”blue”]”More changes are expected. The early days of mobile were all about voice, whereas today it’s much more about data.” He also pointed out that there were many more innovative methods to come, with particular reference to video and data.).[/alert]
Mobile phone sales last year were reported to have hit 1.75 billion as the rise of mobile technology continues to have a bigger impact on our lives than even television and some forms of travel.
One of the most inclusive electronic products
Dr Short added that mobile phones and other similar devices are one of the most inclusive consumer electronic products, with the capability to provide internet access to people around the world.
He also highlights the fact that people in emerging nations will use a mobile phone to access the internet for the first time, showing how far the device has advanced over the past 40 years.
What will the next 40 years hold?
Martin Cooper, the inventor of the very first mobile phone, has previously claimed that mobiles do too many things. The Motorola DynaTAC claimed to have a talk time of 35 minutes and not much else, yet modern devices can send emails and hold charge for up to a month.
Mr Cooper believes the mobile phone industry will split into specialist sectors, saying: “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.”