Loading
Rolling back to the year 1973.

Hotel Hilton at Manhattan's Sixth Avenue is the scene for the inaugral unfolding of the first cellphone.

The protagonist is the legendary Martin Cooper, head of communications-systems division.

His showtime prop was a giant two pound object "nearly the size of a vhild's boot".

Well that's enough drama and hype. Today we share with you a beautiful recount of the first cellphone that rocked the imagination of the people.

Looking back at the simple story, it is a wonder how we cannot imagine our lives without cellphones even for a second. To sound oxymoronic in all senses, cellphones are but a necessary addiction nowadays. One cannot choose to totally delineate themselves of this 'hands-on' technology.

It is all the more an essential tool in the ecommerce arena where transactions, virtual meetings and a whole lot of actual business unfolds every minute, every second.

Coming back to this 'down-the-memory-lane' story, Martin Cooper, the then head of the communications of Motorola, pulled off what we may call the perfect publicity stunt to launch the company's product. Unlike the leaky gadget stunts that happen hours before launch!

He recounts about the dazzling demo they pulled off with style. "I had this thing with push-buttons on it, and I was talking into it. A crowd gathered around him...gawking as he demonstrated how to make a call from the sidewalk- with no phonebooths and no wires". As he passed around the piece for people, to look like real-time promotors and not con artists, the response was unbelievable and shocking at the same go.

Well most of us may not appreciate this old school simplistic gig but sadly that's what we are missing out on. In my view, the old school was a right mix of technology and having-a-field-day promotion models. Probably that's where the term like 'brand loyalty' actually cropped up from.

The modern day corporates, no doubt, have honed the business models well but it just lacks that touch of sensitivity that old timers had. Businesses today crop up  cynicsm in the wake of overpowering the competitors rather than concentrating on their business.They have all the right tools to embellish and market the products, the right amount of talent tool and the power of social media acting as a backbone in the meat of things. But  this proxy Cold War of the corporate world is but a sad reality.

Added to this heavyweight piece called cellphone, Cooper had ideas to develop car phones. It may have been the geek joke of the times but the vision of the man was indeed futuristic. He adds with a touch of humor to his then- progressive ideas.  “When you were born, you would be assigned a phone number.”  

We are glad that it was an insider joke that died down. Whoofh!

By the 1970's and 80s the technology had undergone a significant change. The batteries and design frameworks started to look out for cutting down on the 'heaviness' of the product. The most epic moment for Motorola's cellphone was the 1987 movie "Wall Street" with Gordon Gekko strolling down the beachside with the DynaTAC in his hand.

Its a strange feeling that hits you when stories like these unfold years after they have outlived their glory days. Everything has a history, they say. Indeed this one was touching and inspiring to the core in its own simple ways.

Do let us know your thoughts on this story by leaving a reply in the section below.

Stay tuned with us for more vintage stories worth reading.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Post a Comment