1984, the year the first megabit Chip was created by Bell Labs, Apple released the Macintosh, and the year when the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x, which was also known as ‘The Brick’ came to market. The DynaTAC was a cell phone; in fact, it was the first cell phone that could connect to the telephone network without the need for an operator.
A technological marvel
Who would have thought back in 1984 that we would be able to carry computers around in our back pockets? The DynaTAC was an amazing piece of technology back then. Being able to carry a phone around with you without the need for a brief case was once thought of as impossible, but Motorola pulled it off.
The 8000x was able to make calls for roughly 60 minutes before it needed to be charged for 10 hours, it weighed 1.7 pounds, and the red LED panel was able to display 12 characters. This was technology at its finest in 1984, and the cost for this mobile marvel was $3,995.
The mid ’90s
By the mid 1990s cell phones were very common, you did not need to be ultra-rich to own one, and they could even fit in your pocket, advancements in technology had made owning a cell phone much more affordable.
Manufacturing techniques had improved, components were much smaller, and much more powerful while being more energy efficient. You could get a decent cell phone in the mid-nineties for roughly $250, which is a far cry from the $3,995 that the 8000x cost. It was in this period that the real cell phone movement began.
Mobile phones In the ’90s were much more capable devices than their predecessors. Displays could show more information, batteries would last for hours and would require just a few hours to charge, and you could also send SMS messages. Yes, the world of texting was born in this generation of cell phones.
The world of Smartphones
Today, just 27 years after the 8000x made history, the world is controlled by smartphones. Most people have one, and they control every aspect of our lives, from email, to web surfing, to setting the DVR to record our favorite shows. Technology in the mobile world has progressed at an astonishing rate.
It seems like it was just yesterday that flip phones were the rage, polyphonic ringtones were new, and cameras in cell phones were thought of as the best thing since sliced bread. Then on June 29th 2007 history would be made again.
The iPhone really made the first jump from regular cell phones to Smartphones. The iPhones launch in 2007 revolutionized the way we communicate with the world. The iPhone also set the bar for mobile entertainment.
Smartphones – What can’t they do?
The iPhone introduced more efficient and more powerful processors. Gone were the LCD screens from the ’90s and early 2000s, and in came huge 3.5 inch (or bigger) full color displays. The app store and applications changed the way we interacted with our mobile devices, and they made it possible to do so many things.
New smartphones hit the market almost every day now, and each time a new device is released there is new technology involved. Video Cameras, high definition displays, faster processors, more memory, and new ways to communicate like video chat have all been introduced.
It is hard to imagine life without Smartphones. Being able to have information at our fingertips while being mobile is vital, and we owe it all to Motorola and the DynaTAC 8000x.
I am sure that there will be more major advancements in technology. Who knows what Smartphones will be able to do in another 27 years?
Wikipedia, Motorola DynaTAC
1984arcade.com, News Events From 1984, by Lincoln Whisler