The Evolution Of The Cell Phone

1571 words - 6 pages

I remember seeing my first cell phone when I was in college in the early 90's; it was quite large I remember it being grey and resembled something like a half of a cement block. It was rather cumbersome and hard to walk around with, not to mention have a lengthy conversation on. It felt like a refrigerator with a huge antenna and you had to take this around everywhere you went. Such a device of course required a backpack on one's back that could hold the battery which was large enough to provide power to the greater Atlanta area for approximately ten years. Somehow, however, it would always seem to go dead right when you actually needed it. The funniest thing is that they decided to market it as the pocket phone. I'm really not sure whose pocket it could really fit into but it sure as heck could not fit into mine.These phones were a backup to your home phone, basically a luxury item; only a few could afford to buy them and pay the monthly bills. Service was extremely expensive and so most kept their use down to a minimum. I remember my friends who had cell phones back then would come in complaining when they got the bills; it seemed to be always above $500. These phones were also very unsecure, hackers could clone your phones and use your numbers to make international calls and you would have no idea how that happened. I do not think it had any special features other than the obvious ability to make phone calls.Cell Phone CamerasCell phones have come a long way since then; it has only been 10 years since the first camera was incorporated into a cell phone and that started oddly enough with one of the great, people from the evolution of personal computing in the 1980s: Philippe Kahn. Kahn started software company Borland; after turning Borland into one of the major early successes in Personal computer businesses, Kahn was pushed out in 1995 in a dispute about the company's direction. He then launched cell phone software company Starfish, which played a role in his invention of the cell phone camera in 1997.A number of companies were messing around with the idea but were unable to make the concept work; somebody had to come up with the light bulb, so to speak. Kahn gets credit for doing that for the cell phone camera. How this actually came to light was somewhat unorthodox. It started when his wife, Sonia Lee was in labor and he tried to bring his Lamaze training to the labor process. It did not go over well with his wife and she screamed at him to sit down. Khan never went anywhere without his laptop, cell phone and digital camera. He thought about how clumsy it was to have to take a digital photo, download it to his laptop, post it to a website, then e-mail his friends to tell them where to look all of which was pretty new at that time. He wanted to snap a picture, hit a button and have it automatically load to the Web. As his wife's labor went on, Kahn started fiddling with his hardware and writing code to glue it together. He made a couple of...

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