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17629Re: [midatlanticretro] OT (slightly): CNN interview with cell phone inventor Martin Cooper

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  • evan@snarc.net
    Jul 9, 2010
      >>> Thought some of you might have interest in some early history of cell phone.

      That's the first time I have seen Cooper give an interview and be even remotely close to realistic.

      As well-known as Cooper is for his past work in the cellular industry, he's even better now for his constant self-promotion. He would like people to think of him as a lone "inventor".

      In fact, Cooper's personal role in early cell phones was relatively minor. As he notes in this CNN story, AT&T previously demo'd cellular call switching in car phones, and Cooper's team of engineers -- not him personally -- did the design and engineering of the DynaTAC. Even as team manager, was one of MANY people with such ideas.

      Important detail: Cooper often talks about the short conversation he had with the AT&T guy, but I never see him discuss whether the phone actually transferred between cell sites as he walked down that street.

      For anyone interested in a TRUE history about the early days of cellular, I highly recommend the book "Constant Touch" by Jon Agar.

      PS - Not only is Cooper usually full of hot air, but, when the DynaTAC debuted commercially in '83 it already trailed other offerings. Cellular service was already available in the Far East and Scandinavia. A couple of years ago Cooper set up a self-promoting shell called the "Wireless History Association" which did very little and never adds the qualifier "...in America" when discussing their alleged "firsts".
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