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))

End update.

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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Communication ")

Hurdl PIXL Wearable Helps Fans Connect With Stars
Like Macross Plus!

Advertising Drones Hover Over Traffic In Mexico
'Blurbflies are allowd to travel the streets, buzzing their adverts alive and direct...' - Jeff Noon, 2000.

Audiobooks - Fastest Growing Format In Publishing
'The public preferred lectons...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1961.

Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
'You'll need to have this fish in your ear.' - Douglas Adams, 1979.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.'

Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'

Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...'

TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!'

Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'

Handle, New Wheeled Hopping Robot
'the hopper sprang thirty feet into the air...'

Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.