Cellphone inventor tells user to "get a life!"

Cellphone inventor tells user to "get a life!"
Ask the kiddies who invented the cellphone and we would bet that most of the young uns would say (quite incorrectly), Steve Jobs. Let's put this to rest right now. Steve Jobs did not invent the cellphone. Nor did he invent the MP3 player or the computer. He might have been responsible for coming up with tech CEO chic (the turtleneck sweater, the jeans, and sneakers), but no, Jobs did not invent the cellphone.

Martin Cooper, inventor of the cellphone, is not thrilled about how people are attached to the device these days

That honor belongs to a gentleman by the name of Martin Cooper who invented the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X in 1973. Now 92, Cooper appeared last week on the "BBC Breakfast" and the co-host of that show happened to reveal that she spends five hours a day on her phone. Cooper responded by saying, "Do you really? You really spend five hours a day? Get a life!" He then laughed at the idea that someone would spend so much time on their phone each day.

The inventor of the cellphone said that he spends less than 5% of his time on a mobile phone. But Cooper seems to be the one out of step with the public. Last year data from Statista showed that 46% of Americans responding to a survey said that they spend five to six hours on their phone each day with 11% using their handset for seven hours a day or longer.

Cooper came up with the idea for the cellphone while working at Motorola. The popularity of the car phone bothered him, specifically the part about being tethered to the car. So he came up with the idea of having a phone placed in a car that a consumer could pull out and take with him wherever he or she went. He wanted the device to be "small enough to put in your pocket, but big enough so that it could go between your ears and your mouth."

He also wanted everyone to have their own personal phone number, which eventually happened. This, he says, is his greatest accomplishment. Previously, numbers were assigned based on whether the phone was being used on a desk, at home, or in a car.

The first commercially available phone had a battery that could run for only 25 minutes

Motorola liked his idea so much that it threw millions into the development of the phone and using technology that the team working on the project had already used to make police radios, Motorola had a working phone in three months. To give it its first public test, Cooper made a call in front of reporters on April 3, 1973. He called  AT&T head engineer Joel Engel and said, "Joel, this is Marty. I’m calling you from a cellphone, a real handheld portable cellphone."

The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X didn't ship to the public for ten years. When it was finally released, the device was priced at $3995, more than the price of two Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 handsets, and we're not even calculating inflation into the mix. The phone weighed 2.5 pounds and was 10-inches long. The battery lasted 25 minutes and it took a whopping 10 hours to charge.

Even priced close to $4,000, Cooper's invention was a big hit, especially among businessmen, Wall Street traders, and anyone whose job required him to be in constant contact with others during the day.

Cooper's story might soon be on the silver screen. He wrote a book called "Cutting the Cord," that was released last year and now film studios have approached him about taking his story to the silver screen.

And now here we are, many years later, and the smartphone is the most popular and necessary tool in everyone's pocket. And for that, we can all thank Mr. Cooper for coming up with the idea.

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