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 ")

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.' - Philip K Dick, 1955.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...' - Larry Niven, 1970.

The Future Of Elon Musk's Neuralink
'Cerebral Electromagnetic Emmission Amplification and Relay System call it artificial telepathy, if you like.' - Richard Meredith, 1969.

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
'had he not been talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.

 

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

Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'

Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...'

NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.'

Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'

Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'

Vascularized Human Skin 3D Printed
Hey Fishboy!

Trillionaires Still Earth-Bound
'I shall never forget the sight... when the yellow gleam of the precious metal appeared under the star dust.'

Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.

3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.'

Grow Plants On Moon Or Mars!
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.'

California Gets Shockwave Rider-Style Avoidance Zones
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'

Microbot Interstellar von Neumann Explorers
'Evidently they have never had a planet of their own...'

Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.'

Finally! Microsoft Surface Neo And Surface Duo Implement Excellent Courier Idea
'Runcible, whose pages were thicker and more densely packed with computational machinery...'

Tap Strap 2 Now With Air Mouse
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

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.