Weekend Reading: Happy birthday to the cellphone and more mobile moves


The mobile phone turns 40

Forty years ago, Motorola employee Martin Cooper launched the age of covertly checking your bags and pockets at every ring, ping and buzz.

On April 3, 1973, Cooper made what is widely viewed as the first public mobile phone call, using a 9-inch tall Motorola DynaTAC to call a rival colleague.

This hefty “brick phone” offered 35 minutes of talk-time and took 10 hours to recharge. Things have come a long way since then. My first mobile, nearly a decade ago, was a chunky flip phone. I had a miniscule number of minutes, a voicemail box that held three messages, and it took ages to type out- and decipher – the limited number of texts I sent and received each month.

Now, we take pocket-sized devices – with their myriad apps and data services – for granted as we wait for the next big thing, whether it’s Google Glass or the much-rumoured Apple smartwatch.

What was your first mobile phone?

Keeping connected

Hit snooze, pick up cellphone? Last year, we learned that 55 per cent of people check their mobile before they brush their teeth in the morning. The latest report from IDC Research suggests that estimate might be low, with four out of five smartphone users checking their phones within 15 minutes of waking up. A whopping 62 per cent of 18-to 44-year-olds grab their mobiles as soon as they hear their alarm – and for 44 per cent of these people, their phone doubles as that wakeup call.

The Facebook sponsored report, which polled 7,446 Android and iPhone users aged 18 to 44 in March, also found that 70 per cent of us keep our phones nearby for 22 hours a day, while 63 per cent of us only part with them for an hour, at most. But I identify with that quarter of respondents who can’t think of a time of the day when their phone wasn’t in the same room!

As for what we’re doing with those phones in our waking hours, only 16 per cent of that time is used to make calls – the rest is spent communicating through texts, emails and social networks.

How many hours a day are you separated from your cellphone?

Carrying a phone is old-school, wear it instead

If the number of Nike+ FuelBands spotted around the office are any indication, wearable technology is taking off in 2013. And according to Reuters, Chinese search engine Baidu is following Google’s lead and working on digital eyewear similar to Google Glass. The company’s device, mounted on a headset with a small screen, will allow wearers to search by image and voice and conduct facial recognition matches. Baidu has not revealed whether it will be rolling out the product commercially.

Maybe the Rogers Tuque isn’t so far off, after all?

Get your summer reads on the go

No one wants to run out of reading materials halfway through their beach vacation. Stowing your summer reading list on an ereader or tablet is one way to ensure you always have access to a robust library. And, to help our readers get a head start on the summer fun, we’re sharing our favourite holiday book picks and giving away a Kindle PaperWhite 3G and the new Sony Xperia ZL smartphone here. Leave a comment on the summer reading post for your chance to win.

Jennifer is a regular RedBoard contributor.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Weekend Reading: Happy birthday to the cellphone and more mobile moves

  1. Bhupinder D

    Happy 40th birthday to the all important cellphone!

    Also, I would like to congratulate @RogersBuzz on their 25000th follower! Awesome! I am sure 25000 more followers will come very quickly! :)

    1. RogersJennifer

      Thank you!