The inventor of the world’s first mobile phone says he’s baffled by how much time people are now wasting on their devices, telling users to “get a life.”
Martin Cooper, 92, made the statement during an interview with “BBC breakfaston Thursday, responding to a co-host who claimed she was away from her phone for more than five hours a day.
“‘Do you really know? Are you really spending five hours a day? Get a life!” he said, before bursting into laughter.
Chicago-based Cooper found the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X – the world’s first mobile phone – in 1973.
The engineer had worked at Motorola for more than two decades and was frustrated by the growing popularity of car phones.
“People have been connected to their desks and their kitchens for over 100 years, and now they’re going to connect us to our cars, where we spend 5% of our time?” Cooper recalled thinking in a recent interview with CBS News†
He then came up with the idea of creating a wearable phone that people could take with them in the car, as well as take them out of the car and use them when they were on the road to run errands.
Before focusing on the mechanics of the cell phone, he imagined what the device would look like, saying he wanted it “small enough to fit in your pocket, but big enough so that it fits between your ears and your ears.” your mouth could go.”
Cooper wanted everyone to have their own phone number – that he now calls his number “greatest achievement.” Until then, phone numbers were associated with places, such as a house, car, or office.
Motorola then put millions into Cooper’s project, and it took the engineer and his team just three months to make the phone, having used similar technology to assemble police radios before.
Once completed, the device was named Motorola DynaTAC 8000X. It weighed 2½ pounds and was 10 inches long. It only took 25 minutes to drain the battery and it took a whopping 10 hours to charge.
On April 3, 1973, Cooper made the first-ever cell phone call using the device and decided to call his competitor Joel Engel, who worked as a chief engineer at AT&T.
The event took place outside in front of reporters in Midtown Manhattan as Cooper called Engel’s landline.
“Joel, this is Marty. I’m calling you from a cell phone, a real portable cell phone,” he said, as the reporters looked on in amazement.
The phone didn’t hit the market until ten years later and was finally released to the public in 1983. It cost a whopping $3,995.
Cooper wrote of inventing the telephone in his memoir, “cutting the cord”, released last year. He told CBS News that movie studios have already approached him about a possible film adaptation.
Now, nearly half a century after Cooper’s invention, Americans are addicted to their devices.
A 2021 study of 2,028 Americans by statistic found that 46% of respondents spent five to six hours on their phones every day. Eleven percent of respondents spent as many as seven hours or more on their devices.