2007Computex e21Forum MartinCooperDid you know? The first handheld cell phone was developed by Martin Cooper of Schaumburg.

Martin left his first job at Teletype Corporation in Chicago in 1954 and joined Motorola, Inc. (Schaumburg, Illinois) as a senior development engineer in the mobile equipment group. He developed products including the first cellular-like portable handheld police radio system, produced for the Chicago police department in 1967. His inspiration for a cordless phone came from an episode of Star Trek when Captain James T. Kirk opened his communicator.

The cell phone launched on April 3, 1973. Martin made the first phone call, contacting his rival Dr. Joel S. Engel who worked for Bell labs.  Ten years later, Motorola made history by introducing the first commercial cell phone, which cost almost $4,000. Throughout the years many companies have made different variations of the mobile phone, from flip phones to touch screen smart phones. Now, according to Pew Research, 95 percent of Americans own some type of cell phone, and 77 percent of that own a smart phone.

Martin’s creation has changed history and forever altered the way we communicate. His innovation opened the doors for other inventors to revamp his dream and for that we will forever be grateful.