MWC2023: Martin Cooper, the engineer who made the first phone call 50 years ago: ‘We’re only at the beginning’ | technology

This American engineer has been honored with the Prince of Asturias for his visionary invention: the mobile phone. Martin Cooper (Chicago, 94) enters the press room of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and smiles. In his pocket is a new iPhone. “I tried them all,” he admits. He’s about to tell us what that first call was like for the umpteenth time. categorically denies that it was inspired by Connected Used by Captain Kirk in the legendary TV series Stark flight. But yeah, it was a See you It succeeded and put it in the history of technology forever.

Ask. Do you still want to attend Mobile World Congress?

Answer. Naturally. I think we are just getting started in this industry. 50 years later, we’re still at the beginning of what we’re going to achieve in cell phones and the Internet. There are three areas that will drive a revolution: education – teachers must teach how to use the internet and discriminate against misinformation – and medicine – now we can use sensors to see what’s going on in the human body every minute, and we can connect to a computer that analyzes that data and treats disease before it arrives – The third is collaboration, the ability to work together when distance and time don’t make sense. Human productivity will grow in such a way that poverty can be eliminated. Those are the great hopes.

s. An optimistic vision for sure.

R was found. I am optimistic, but if I am not sure that there are cell phones today.

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s. On April 3, 1973, he made his first call to a Dyna-Trac, a prototype for Motorola, the company he was working for at the time. What do you remember from that call?

R was found. I remember my company was threatened by competition. I thought the way to get attention was to show the future of mobile phones with something interesting and they let me create the first prototype. My team designed it in three months, and we pulled together all the available technology. We were supposed to appear on a TV channel, but that morning the program was canceled. There was someone more important than us. So a reporter alerted us and we placed the call. This phone was one of a kind. It worked for a few minutes and then it broke.

s. You are Graham Bell Mobile Phones.

R was found. Ideas are important, but putting them into practice requires the participation of many people. But the world has treated me well and I appreciate that. We knew what we were doing, we knew it, and the proof is that there are currently more cell phones on the planet. The important thing is knowing when the technology is ready and that was the moment, 1973.

s. He talks about education, about predicting the future. At what age should a child have a mobile phone?

R was found. It’s a complicated answer, I can only speak from my personal experience. My daughter was sometimes late picking up my five year old grandson and giving him a phone. Why are there no children’s mobiles exclusively for them? My wife created a telephone company focused on a specific market, the elderly, with a very simply designed model. Why don’t we design a mobile for children with its educational games? I believe everyone is different from the rest and phones should be designed for the person, should be human and designed keeping in mind the user’s DNA. Why not put the phone under your skin so you can take calls without recharging because your body is the battery?

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s. I see a problem: the time we spend each day hooked on the phone.

R was found. yes it is. I think about it when I’m driving and see these people walking around with their phones without looking at anyone else. But every progress has downsides. I believe in people and humanity and I believe we will solve it. The most important part of technology is how it affects people.

s. How much do you use your mobile phone now?

R was found. Not much. When my wife gives me orders, she does so through her mobile phone. One of the things I’ve learned is that you don’t have to answer the phone, they can leave you a message or a picture. Now I devote myself to corporate advice, thinking about the future, and I don’t need to be in touch all the time.

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