5 Tech Firsts That Changed the World
The world of technology has seen many firsts. While they might not be the best gadgets, but they all set up a foundation for the devices and machines we use today. We look at the top 5 which have deeply impacted our lives.
1. The First Mobile Phone
We all know that Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone in 1876 and the first wireless telephone call was made in 1900, but the inventor of the first cell phone was Martin Cooper. In 1973, Martin Cooper worked as a project manager with Motorola. The first mobile phone was called the Motorola DynaTAC, with a length of 9 inches and weighing in at 1.1 kilograms. The DynaTAC had a full talk time of 35 minutes and it took 10 hours to charge the phone. Talk, dial and listen were the only features available on the phone.
2. The First Laptop
The first laptop called the ‘Osborne 1’ was invented by Adam Osborne in 1981. It came with a price tag of $1795 at the time of its release. The screen size of the laptop was a mere five inches and the keyboard was attached as the lid of the computer. The laptop had two 5 1/4 floppy drives and housed a modem port. The processor was a Zilog z80 @ 4.0 MHz and the memory on board was just 64K. The weight of the Osborne was close to 11 kgs and because of its heavy and bulky size was referred to as a suitcase.
3. The First Gaming Console
Ralph H. Baer also known as the father of video games wanted an interactive experience with the television. In this quest he discovered that one could play games on tv. In between 1967 and 1969 he created several test units and came up with a prototype called the ‘Brown Box’, the first multiplayer and multiprogram video game system. The ‘Brown Box’ was a complete unit with proper circuitry for video output and a number of built-in games. These games were variations of Chase, Handball and Ping Pong. Players controlled the action through two large paddle controls with rotary dials and switches.
4. The First Smartwatch
Who knew that the idea of a smartwatch isn’t a very new one. IBM in collaboration with Citizen Watch in 2001 built a Linux-based watch called WatchPad. The device featured a QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) LCD screen, an accelerometer and sported a Linux 2.4 version. The Watchpad had features like calendar-scheduling, a pager-like application for messaging and a Bluetooth chip for wireless communication with notebooks, handheld computers and cell phones. Just like the smartwatches today, the battery life of the Watchpad lasted only for a few hours.
5. Apple Macintosh Portable
The first Apple laptop was launched in 1989 was named Apple Macintosh portable. This was the first off-the-shelf laptop to travel into space. The sales of the Apple Mackintosh Portable were low because of its staggering price of $6500. But when it came to specs, they were impressive in its time. The laptop was a 68000 Motorola 16MHz processor with 1 MB RAM and had a storage capacity of 40MB. The display was a 9.8 inch LCD Screen with a resolution of 640×400 (Active Matrix Technology). It was a heavy machine weighing in at 7.2 kilograms and came in with a carrying case at the time of purchase. The Macintosh Portable ran Macintosh system 6.0.4 to 7.5.5.