Cellphone Inventor Cooper Trails Heinlein Again
Marty Cooper has predicted that, in the future, cell phones will be implanted behind your ear and will use bone conduction in place of speakers.
Once again, Cooper is behind the times.
(Cellphone inventor Marty Cooper)
In 1973, Cooper made the first phone call from his prototype Dyna-Tac handheld cellular phone in New York City. The call connected Cooper with a base station that in turn connected him to the land-line telephone system. Cooper has stated that he was personally inspired by watching Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise use communicators on Star Trek in the late 1960's.
If Cooper had been reading Robert Heinlein, he could have invented the cell phone in the 1950's.
(Pocketphone visionary Robert Heinlein)
Heinlein wrote about the idea of a pocketphone in his 1953 novella Assignment in Eternity, and a pocket-sized portable telephone in his 1948 novel Space Cadet.
Now, Marty Cooper is back in the news, this time with a prediction that you will no longer need one of those bulky 6 ounce pocket-sized phones:
"The cellphone in the long range is going to be embedded under your skin behind your ear along with a very powerful computer who is in effect your slave."
Well, it turns out that Heinlein got to this idea first, too. In his eerie 1951 classic The Puppet Masters, he writes about an audio relay:
The sort of phone my Section uses is not standard; the audio relay is buried surgically under the skin back of my left ear - bone conduction.
Update 11-May-2012: It turns out that the first person to file a patent on a device that transmitted sound via bone conduction was none other than Hugo Gernsback; he filed a patent for an "acoustic device" in 1923 (he later referred to it as an "osophone"). His patent was granted by the US Patent Office in 1924.
This invention relates to acoustical instruments and the important objects of the invention are to provide simple and practical means by which hearing may be effected by sound vibrations transmitted directly to the osseous tissue of the body. A particular purpose is to provide such means in the form of a small, compact and handy instrument which can be easily carried about and used without attracting undue attention.
(See Gernsback's patent drawings acoustic apparatus (osophone))
If you're wondering what else might be coming down the pike, technologically speaking, why not read more about 138 of Robert Heinlein's ideas and inventions?.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/26/2010)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.
SmileCloud Bubloons Are Custom Clouds
'Spurgle kicked at the letter G... It was a monstrous white thing, ten feet thick, half a city block long...' - Alan Nelson, 1953.
Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...' - Vernor Vinge, 1999.
Biggest HiSeas 'Mars Mission' Problem? No Internet
I think sf writers have this covered!
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'
Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.'
LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.'
Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land
High Plains, indeed.
Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.
Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.
Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.
Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?
I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.
When Will The Feds Ban Human Drivers?
'The first laws came out forcing the old machines off the highways...'
Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'
Will You Live To See EM Pulse Scattering By Ships Nearing Light Speed?
'...half a million kilometers away, the Stardrive went on.'
Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…'
Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.
Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories