INTERVIEW: Marty Cooper, the engineer credited with inventing the first handheld mobile phone, predicted the progress made in the 40 years following its launch was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the impact the device sector will have on people’s lives.
At the recent MWC23, Cooper told Mobile World Live there is plenty of room for the mobile sector to continue to evolve, noting a history of revolution and evolution.
The Motorola DynaTAC 8000x Cooper engineered could be compared with the original iPhone in terms of revolutionising the mobile phone market.
He noted the device was very expensive, at $4,000, and calls cost $0.50 per minute, but highlighted the underlying ability to allow people to communicate is “still the most important thing” mobile phones do.
“They connect people and enhance collaboration. They’re the glue and the oil that makes the industry work”.
Cooper argued the development of mobile technologies is “unpredictable”, citing camera phones and the internet as examples, but expressed a belief mobile and adjacent industries are providing technology which benefits society, “revolutionising educational systems” and healthcare.
“All those things are starting to happen now, and those are the real things the mobile phone has done”.
The engineer also holds an influential voice on radio spectrum management, pioneering Cooper’s law covering rules of voice and data transmission capacity.
But he argued technology evolution is largely pointless “unless it makes people’s lives better”.
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