Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"[Science fiction is ] That branch of literature which is concerned with the impact of scientific advance upon human beings."
- Isaac Asimov

Pocket Phone (or pocketphone)  
  A telephone that is not hard wired to the network; a mobile or cell phone.  

In this brief quote, Robert Heinlein not only imagines the modern day cell phone, he also foresees the main problem with them. The quote is taken from Lost Legacy, one of the four novellas in this story collection.

"How come," he asked as he came abreast, "they had to search for you?"

"Left my pocketphone in my other suit," Coburn returned briefly. "Did it on purpose - I wanted a little peace and quiet. No luck."

From Assignment in Eternity, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Signet in 1953
Additional resources -

This is one of the first mention of a portable phone usable by ordinary civilians. Also, it specifies that the phone is small enough to actually put in your pocket. Here's another mention of a phone that fits in your pocket from Podkayne of Mars, also by Robert Heinlein.:

He patted my hand. "Cheer up, Flicka. Always remember that, when things seem darkest, they usually get considerably worse. He took his phone out of his pocket and made a call. "This is Senator Fries. I want the Director... I just called to tell you that I'm coming by to stuff you into one of your own helium tanks. Oh, say about fourteen or a few minutes after. That should give you time to get out of town. Clearing." He pocketed his phone.

As far as I know, the first reference to a pocket-sized telephone is in Heinlein's 1948 novel Space Cadet - the portable telephone.

Just to put some historical perspective on this one, in 1964 the closest thing to a portable telelphone was a radiotelephone, which was typically the size of a couple of shoeboxes.

Bell System engineers made the first transatlantic radiotelephone call in 1915; it used huge towers and lots of power. The original VHF Squad Radios from WWII were originally designed to be used while riding a horse! The first cellular phones were demonstrated in 1973.

Present day radiotelephones may operate at any frequency where they are licensed to do so, though typically they are used in the various bands between 60 MHz and 900 MHz.

For the WWII generation, a telephone was a fixed object affixed to a wall, or wired into one. It took real effort of the imagination to see a phone you could just put in your pocket.
(Thanks to Victor Ramirez for this item.)

Comment/Join this discussion ( 9 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Assignment in Eternity
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Assignment in Eternity
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Pocket Phone (or pocketphone)-related news articles:
  - Nokia Morph Cell Phone Concept

Articles related to Communication
Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

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.

 

 

 

 

More News

Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).

Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'

Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'

Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'

The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.'

Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.'

Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'

Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'

Airbnb Has AI Psychiatrist Looking At Your Facebook
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.