Mobile phone inventor wants devices to go back to basics

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The Independent Online

The inventor of the mobile phone said Wednesday the devices have become too complex, with a range of features from cameras to music, since he made the first-ever wireless call over three decades ago.

"Whenever you create a universal device that does all things for all people, it does not do any things well," former Motorola researcher Martin Cooper said at a privacy conference in Madrid.

"Our future I think is a number of specialist devices that focus on one thing that will improve our lives," the 80-year-old added.

Cooper, who was born in Chicago, was the lead engineer of the Motorola team that developed the handheld mobile phone. He made the first-ever wireless call from a busy Manhattan street corner on April 3, 1973.

"The first cell phone model weighed over one kilo and you only could talk for 20 minutes before the battery ran out, which is just as well because you would not be able to hold it up for much longer," he said.

"What we did with this mobile telephone was create a revolution. Before the mobile phone existed we were calling a place, now we are calling a person."

Since that first call was made the popularity of mobile phones has soared, with more than four billion people owning one today, Cooper said, compared to only 300,000 in 1984.

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