Martin Cooper makes the first mobile phone call on April 3, 1973


BARCELONA, Spain — One day, phones will be devices integrated into our skin, rather than the black rectangular slabs we’ve grown accustomed to, the inventor of the cell phone believes.

“The next generation will have the phone embedded under the skin of the ear,” Marty Cooper, who is credited with inventing the first phone in 1973, told CNBC in an interview at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday.

Such devices won’t need to be charged because “your body is the perfect charger,” Cooper said. “When you eat food, your body creates energy, right?”

“You swallow food, your body produces energy. It takes a little bit of energy to run that earpiece,” he added.

His vision hints at a possible future stage of humanity where our bodies will be augmented with powerful microchips and sensors.

Several startups are developing technologies that seek to merge computers with the human brain, such as Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

Cooper said today’s smartphone has become too complex, with tons of apps and a screen that doesn’t fit the curvature of the human face.

“Every time I make a phone call and I don’t have an earpiece, I have to press this flat piece of material against my curved head [and] holding my hand in an awkward position,” he said.

The smartphone market has stagnated for the past few years and there is a feeling in the industry that manufacturers are struggling to come up with new innovative designs.

The ubiquity of phones today has led to a whole host of problems, from social media addiction to privacy violations.

“Privacy is a very serious issue, addiction is an issue,” Cooper said, acknowledging the shortcomings of his creation.

But he was optimistic about the future, suggesting the technology’s best days are yet to come in areas such as education and healthcare.

“I believe in humanity,” Cooper said. “I look at history and all the advances we’ve had with technology, and somehow people have figured it out.”

“People are better now. And they live longer. They are richer, healthier than ever before. We have ups and downs. But in general, humanity is progressing.”

Ericsson CEO: The 5G cycle is still very early

Cooper received a lifetime achievement award at MWC this week to mark 50 years since he made the first phone call on Sixth Avenue. Using the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X featured in the popular movie Wall Street, he called his main competitor in AT&TJoel C. Engel.

Cooper says he never imagined phones would become the portable computers they are today.

“50 years ago was a really primitive time,” he said. “There was no Internet, no large integrated circuits, no digital cameras.”

“The idea that one day your phone would be a camera and an encyclopedia never crossed our minds.”

However, he added: “We knew that communication was important. And we told a joke that someday when you are born, you will be assigned a phone number. And if you don’t answer the phone, you’re dead.”

“So we just knew that someday everyone would have a cell phone. And it almost did.”

According to Cooper, there are now more mobile subscribers than people in the world, while two-thirds of the Earth’s population have personal mobile phones. “The phone becomes an extension of the person,” he said.

WATCH: Three decades after inventing the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee has some ideas to fix it

Source by [author_name]

Previous articleSapeon, an Nvidia competitor, is seeking a $400 million valuation; plans a new AI chip
Next article$33 billion fintech giant Revolut reports first-ever annual profit