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How cellphones have evolved over the decades

In 1971 when the acclaimed band The Who sang about “Going Mobile”, the term had an entirely different meaning than it carries today.

Today mobile is synonymous with cellphones and other portable computing devices. While envisioned decades earlier, these devices did not become “mainstream” until approximately the 1990s.

Modern standards have rapidly changed over the last few years. Not only do a large percentage of people use cellphones today, the majority of individuals carrying one rely upon it for daily activities. Cellphones also are far from being a simple telephone, but rather a device that is both a communication and information sharing device.

Mobile is developed

Cellphones, which were first envisioned back in the 1940s, were not actually invented until 1973 when the first mobile phone designed for use outside a car was developed. It was this year the first phone call was made by Dr. Martin Cooper, a former general manager for the systems division at Motorola.

A big accomplishment, but it would be decades before cellphones became a true reality with commercial availability. Cooper has been designated with the honor of spearheading the development of a commercial mobile market.

Cellphones in the 1980s

In the 1980s, cellphones were clunky items. Not many people carried them and they didn’t have much, if any, of an impact on the general population. If anything, cellphones were more seen in pop culture, such as television and movies. These large and chunky phones were mostly portrayed in pop culture as being used by the elite and/or business communities. Most people probably didn’t know anyone that actually carried one.

More common in the 1990s

Even in the 1990s many people did not carry a mobile telephone. Although, by the end of the decade, its use became more common. This was the era when the formerly popular “direct connect” features were used. With this cellphones became usable as walkie-talkie type devices. It was also, however, in this time frame that the seeds of smartphones were planted by Phillips which dubbed the device “The Synergy”. This concept in technology would explode in development only a few years later.

Mobile phones in the new millennium

By the time 2000 rolled around, cellphones were becoming the norm. Fast forward to 2013 and the growth of mobile has been staggering. It is forecast more mobile devices than people will exist globally by the end of 2013. Experts predict this exponential growth will continue for the next several years. Today’s cellphones look nothing like earlier designs.

Mobile phones have shrunk in size and can do most anything a computer can do. Every day hundreds of millions of people text, surf the Internet, check social media accounts, and take photos and video. People can even deposit checks by taking a photo of their paycheck and send it to their bank, provided their bank offers this feature.

The possibilities are endless and it is amazing to think what the next generation of cellphones will incorporate into daily living. As augmented reality becomes more prominent, what was only once seen or imagined in science fiction will likely eventually become mainstream.

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