Martin Cooper entered the history books on April 3, 1973 when he placed the first public telephone call on a portable cellular device. He called his competitors at AT&T's Bell Labs to give them the news of his cell phone invention.
To make the call even more exciting, he phoned them from the streets of New York City.
Cooper made several calls that day, one to a radio reporter while crossing the street to emphasize the freedom of his mobile phone. He admits that it was ""probably one of the more dangerous things I have ever done in my life.""
Cooper's cell phone invention not only created a phone that provided freedom, but it also started a radical shift in thinking. For the first time, the communications industry focused on the person and not the place.
This marketing concept is not only exciting, but is the fuel for thought behind many other wireless inventions impacting communication.
Over the years, Cooper continued to improve his cell phone invention. In his 1973 public demonstration, the phone he used was brick-shaped and weighed 30 ounces.
In 1983, Motorola introduced a 16-ounce phone for commercial service that cost the consumers $3500 for each phone.
Today, the average cell phone weighs as little as 3 ounces.
Because of the huge success of cellular phones, the prices for these devices has gone down significantly since their inception. Today, the competition is fierce for subscribers with many affordable plans to choose from.
It's clear that Cooper developed a product that the world finds worthwhile and the industry finds marketable.
Currently, Martin Cooper is the CEO of ArrayComm, a company he founded to conduct research and development on smart antenna technology. He still seeks to improve wireless networks through the rapid advancements in technology.
In the three-minute interview below, Cooper talks about the purpose of technology and what's wrong with today's smartphones.